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Historic Inventory Shortage Across U.S., realtor.com Reports

Monday, October 15th, 2018 at 1:32pm Jenna Christensen

 

Inventory on a nationwide basis is low; in fact, shortages are at their worst in 20 years. What is the current market climate? Looking at the first six months of 2018, inventory listed on realtor.com® is 18.2 percent lower than it was during the same period of 2015. And the raw number for homes on the market in 2018 (6.2 million) is a lot less than the 14.3 million total in January 2009, according to the U.S. Census.

“Buyers have the least amount of options they’ve ever seen before,” says Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research at realtor.com, adding that “competition has virtually doubled over the past five years.”

Realtor.com analyzed the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas, focusing on the most significant drops in inventory. Here are the cities where inventory is the most limited:

  1. Sacramento, Calif.
    Median list price: $453,000
    Decrease in inventory: -55.1 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 10,409,000
  1. Charlotte, N.C.
    Median list price: $334,600
    Decrease in inventory: -52.2 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 17,257,000
  1. Indianapolis, Ind.
    Median list price: $260,000
    Decrease in inventory: -49.6 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 10,726,000
  1. Buffalo, N.Y.
    Median list price: $190,000
    Decrease in inventory: -47.1 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 2,843,000
  1. Detroit, Mich.
    Median list price: $248,500
    Decrease In inventory: -46.4 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 16,299,000
  1. Minneapolis, Minn.
    Median list price: $337,100
    Decrease in inventory: -41.3 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 12,688,000
  1. Milwaukee, Wis.
    Median list price: $250,000
    Decrease in inventory: -37.3 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 4,953,000
  1. Louisville, Ky.
    Median list price: $249,500
    Decrease in inventory: -36.8 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 3,454,000
  1. Richmond, Va.
    Median list price: $311,500
    Decrease in inventory: -36.8 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 4,192,000
  1. Seattle, Wash.
    Median list price: $552,600
    Decrease in inventory: -35.1 percent
    Drop in square footage on the market: 4,687,000

Some of the larger markets are, however, experiencing an inventory rebound, with less sellers holding underwater mortgages and many hoping to sell while prices continue to rise, according to the report. This localized market shift has not been widespread enough to reverse the shortages on a national level.

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