Markets Still Plagued by Inventory Crunch

October 21, 2014

The number of homes for sale is still low in many markets: Supply nationwide in September was at five and a half months; most economists consider a normal level to be six to seven months. The supply of new homes was even lower, at nearly five months, according to realtor.com®'s September National Housing Trend Report.

"To truly relieve the inventory shortage on a sustained basis, new-home construction needs to rise by at least 50 percent from the current levels," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. 

The following markets have posted some of the biggest drops in listings year-over-year:

  • Las Vegas: -37.9%
  • San Jose, Calif.: -36.2%
  • Columbus, Ohio: -29%
  • Cincinnati: -26.5%
  • Houston: -25.2%
  • Washington, D.C.: -25%
  • San Francisco: -23.4%
  • Chicago: -22.8%

Meanwhile, in some markets, home buyers have found more choices in the past year. These markets have seen the biggest growth in inventory levels year-over-year:

  • Honolulu: +27.5%
  • Orlando, Fla.: +25.8%
  • Miami: +22%
  • Charleston, W.Va.: +20.1%

Nationwide, the median age of inventory fell slightly year-over-year in September due to the reduced number of homes on the market, according to realtor.com®. Homes spent about 90 days on the market in September, three days less than a year ago.

Also, median listing prices held steady for the fourth consecutive month, maintaining a 7.7 percent gain year-over-year. The median list price in September was $214,900 nationwide.

Source: realtor.com®'s September National Housing Trend Report