Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Housing Inventory: NAR and Housing Tracker

by Bill McBride on 7/23/2014 01:41:00 PM

I've been using weekly inventory numbers from Housing Tracker ("DeptofNumbers") to track changes in listed inventory and it might be useful to compared the Housing Tracker numbers to the Realtor (NAR) numbers for inventory.

According to Housing Tracker for (54 metro areas), inventory is up 15.0% compared to the same week last year.

However the NAR reported yesterday that inventory in June was only up 6.5% year-over-year.  Some of the difference could be because of coverage (Housing Tracker is only for the largest 54 metro areas), and some of the difference could be because of timing and methodology.

NAR vs. HousingTracker.net Existing Home InventoryClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the NAR estimate of existing home inventory through June (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through July.

In general - over time - Housing Tracker and the NAR reports of inventory move together.

Both reports suggest inventory is increasing, and that overall inventory is still fairly low.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.

HousingTracker.net YoY Home Inventory This year-over-year increase in inventory is a significant story.  This increase should slow house price increases (maybe even lead to price declines in some areas).

Note: I use the NAR data as the "standard", but I think the Housing Tracker data is useful (since it is reported weekly without a significant lag).  My guess is the NAR will continue to report increases in inventory, and that inventory will be up 10% to 15% year-over-year at the end of 2014 based on the NAR report (maybe even more).