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Monday, March 19, 2012

Where Are All the Home Sellers?

As we’ve been discussing in our Sacramento area: low inventory, high demand and a flattening sales price.  It’s happening in other parts of the country as well.  Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal.

By Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal

Inventories of homes listed for sale in January dropped by 6.6% from December to 1.77 million, the eighth straight month that listings have declined. For-sale listings are 23.2% below year-earlier levels and at the lowest point since the housing bust accelerated five years ago, according to data from Realtor.com.
All but one of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com had fewer homes listed than one year earlier, with Springfield, Ill., as the outlier.
Compared with one year earlier, listings were down by a whopping 55% in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and by nearly half in Miami, Phoenix, and Bakersfield, Calif. Markets with the smallest declines included New York (-1.7%) and Philadelphia (-3%).
Housing inventories typically rise heading into the spring selling season, but only four markets saw inventories increase from December, all of them in Florida. San Francisco and Boston, reported some of the largest monthly inventory declines, of 16% and 10%, respectively.
The Realtor.com figures include sale listings from more than 900 multiple-listing services across the country. They don’t cover all homes for sale, including those that are “for sale by owner” and newly constructed homes that aren’t always listed by the services.
The National Association of Realtors estimated on Wednesday that there were nearly 2.31 million homes for sale at the end of January, a 21% decline from one year earlier. The NAR estimates that at the current pace of sales, it would take 6.1 months to clear that inventory, the lowest level since April 2006, before home prices began falling.
Low inventories are a prerequisite for any housing recovery because a glut of unsold homes has been one factor pulling down prices.
clear skies,
Doug Reynolds

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