Housing Inventory Shortages “Start to Ease”

The percentage of homes for sale has risen 25 percent this year and housing inventories have started to outpace typical seasonal upticks, realtor.com® reports.

Rising home prices likely are encouraging more home sellers to test out the market. The inventory crunch may be showing signs of easing with listings rising 5.8 percent in May. Still, the number of homes for sale is low by historical standards. Listings in May are still 10 percent below year-ago levels.

The places where the number of homes for sale rose the most were Atlanta (rising 3.4 percent in May), Miami (2.8 percent), and Tuscon, Ariz. (1.8 percent).

“Even with the increases, inventories in many markets remain tight, but any easing in the extreme shortages of the past year could ultimately cool the pace at which home prices have been rising,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Meanwhile, median asking prices rose 4.8 percent nationally over year-ago levels, according to the report. Sacramento posted the highest increase in asking prices (rising 42.3 percent from April 2012) and Oakland (a 38 percent increase).

Source: “Housing-Inventory Crunch Could Be Easing,” The Wall Street Journal (June 13, 2013)

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