July’s real estate market data shows the nation experienced a 5.24 percent decline in housing inventory, which is the second month in a row with year-over-year inventory declines in the single digits. National median list prices increased 5.27 percent year-over-year while median age of inventory is down 16.67 percent.
While California markets have dominated the list of markets with the largest housing inventory declines in the first part of 2013, they have been replaced by a new set of market leaders including: Detroit, Mich.; Boston; Denver; Honolulu and Naples, Fla. The large decreases in the for-sale inventory in these markets suggests the beginning of a housing market recovery process similar to what was observed in Florida in 2011, and in California in 2012 and 2013.
“The recovery is entering a new phase where inventory shortfalls are no longer the driving force behind changes in housing prices in many markets. Larger inventories, especially in the hotter markets that experienced rapid price increases in the spring, are expanding buyers’ choices and helping to moderate price increases,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc. “This month’s report also underscores the uneven nature of the housing recovery and its dependence on the strength of the local economy.”
- Dramatic national year-over-year inventory declines have evaporated. Nationally inventories in July are only 5.24 percent below the level of a year ago compared to being down 16.47 percent year-over-year in January.
- Inventory declines decrease in local markets. In July 2013, the number of markets with decreases in year-over-year inventory declined from 125 markets in June to 118 markets in July. This suggests that this fall inventories in some markets may return to levels of a year ago and may continue to slow price increases in some markets.
- Markets are still moving fast. All but five markets are continuing to experience year-over-year declines in age of inventory and on a month-over-month basis. On a national level, housing inventory is approximately 17 percent below last year, but the national age of inventory increased 6.25 percent month-over-month.
- Price declines decrease in local markets. Median listing prices are now negative year-over-year in only 31 markets, which is down from 36 in June.