For the first time in four years, the inventory of homes on the market actually grew in October—by 2% nationally, compared with the same time last year. In the fiercely competitive world of U.S. real estate—where a lack of available homes has led to price jumps, bidding wars, and frustrated buyers—this is significant news. Is it a harbinger of changes to come?
While the net increase of 25,000 listings was no avalanche, it marked a sharp change from the severe constriction in supply that has marked recent years and driven up prices. In addition, new listings in October came in at cheaper price points.
“Buyers have been struggling for four years to find homes in their price range while dealing with bidding wars and multiple-offer situations,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. “The inventory increase will not solve the problem overnight, but it should provide some relief to those still in the market, especially if the growth we’re seeing in more affordable homes and condos holds steady."
Larger metros drove a greater portion of the overall gain in listings; combined inventory in the 45 largest urban areas increased 6% in October compared with the year before. Of those 45 largest markets, 24 saw year-over-year growth in listings. The five markets with the most dramatic growth were San Jose, CA; Seattle; San Francisco; San Diego; and Nashville, TN. In those metros, for-sale housing inventory shot up 32% or more. See more...