With Tight Inventory, Prices Only Going Up From Here

November 21, 2013

A low number of homes for sale is pushing home prices up to double-digit gains year-over-year, the National Association of REALTORS® reports in its latest existing-homes report

“Low inventory is holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “More new-home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains.” 

In October, the national median existing-home price was $199,500 — a 12.8 percent surge above what it was a year ago. It also marks the 11th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases, NAR reports. 

Meanwhile, housing inventories are falling, dropping 1.8 percent in October to 2.13 million existing homes for sale. That represents a 5-month supply at the current sales pace. 

The median time on the market for all home types was 54 days in October, up from 50 days in September. In October 2012, the median time on the market was 71 days. 

Realtor.com® reports that the tightest inventory conditions were in the following metros in October:

  • Oakland, Calif.: median age of inventory of 30 days
  • San Francisco: 48 days
  • San Jose, Calif.: 48 days
  • Denver: 48 days
  • Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: 48 days

Read more: 

How NAR Calculates Existing-Home Sales
Watch Rates, But Inventory Remains Key
Inventory Crunch Over? More Sellers Jump In