Inventory of Homes For Sale at Four-Year Low

by Shilpi Paul


The inventory of homes on the market in the U.S. is at its lowest point in four years, the National Association of Realtors reported this morning.

In October, there were 3.33 million homes on the market, representing an 8-month supply at the current sales pace. The supply of for-sale homes has been dropping since a record-setting 4.58 million homes were on the market in July 2008.

There are a couple schools of thought on the low inventory. Historically, low inventory has indicated a healthy housing market with high demand. But negative factors could be leading to the recent inventory decline: homeowners may be underwater on their mortgages and reluctant to sell, workers may be less likely to move for a new job, owners could be renting out their homes instead of putting them up for sale, or banks could still be slowly processing the many foreclosures they have in the pipeline.

While a lot of the national housing market trends are not attributable to DC, low inventory is not one of them. For a story that will be published in the coming days, Keith Gibbons, the brains behind DCHousingPrices.com, examined the housing market in the 20009 zip code (which covers portions of Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, the U Street Corridor, Logan Circle, and some of Shaw). The analysis compares a three-month window (August-October 2010) with that same period in 2011.

Inventory in 20009 comparing 2010 and 2011

The chart above (with 2010 data in the left column and 2011 in the right) shows that the inventory for both single-family homes and condos for sale in 20009 dropped between August, September and October 2010 and those same months this year. (The only exception being a small increase in condo inventory between September 2010 and September 2011.) Also, in every month above except for one, housing inventory fell below the healthy benchmark of a six-month supply.

See other articles related to: housing inventory, home sales

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/inventory_of_homes_for_sale_at_four_year_low/4627

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