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U.S. Housing Supply Reaches All-Time Low

Realtor.com: Housing inventory dropped 13.6% in Jan. – the steepest year-over-year decline in over four years. The current supply of for-sale homes in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been since realtor.com began tracking it in 2012. It’s down 10%-20% in the four Fla. cities tracked.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – National housing inventory declined 13.6% in January – the steepest year-over-year decrease in more than 4 years – pushing the supply of for-sale homes in the U.S. to the lowest level ever since realtor.com began tracking the data in 2012.

Based on realtor.com’s analysis, January’s steep year-over-year decline amounted to a national loss of 164,000 listings that tightens the housing shortage plaguing the U.S.

And based on realtor.com’s data, a dearth of for-sale homes shows no signs of easing in the near future as the volume of newly listed properties also declined by 10.6% since last year.

“Homebuyers took advantage of low mortgage rates and stable listing prices to drive sales higher at the end of 2019, further depleting the already limited inventory of homes for sale,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist. “With fewer homes coming up for sale, we’ve hit another new low of for sale-listings in January.”

Hales calls it a “challenging sign for the large numbers of millennial and Gen Z buyers coming into the housing market this homebuying season, as it implies the potential for rising prices and fast-selling homes – a competitive market.”

The supply shortage is found at every price tier throughout the U.S., but it’s especially pronounced at the entry-level. In January, properties priced under $200,000 declined by 19%, an acceleration compared to December’s decline of 18.1%.

The decline in inventory of mid-tier properties priced between $200,000 and $750,000 also accelerated, to a decline of 12% year-over-year, compared to December’s 10.2% decline. Even upper-tier properties priced at more than $750,000 declined by 5.9% year-over-year compared to December’s decline of 4.4%.

As inventory dropped, both listing prices and days-on-market reacted to the imbalance of supply and demand. The median U.S. listing price grew by 3.4% year-over-year, to $299,995 in January, while prices in 18 metros grew by more than 10%.

Of the 50 largest metros, 46 saw year-over-year gains in median listing prices, with Philadelphia as the nation’s standout with a 16.0% increase over last year. Additionally, with the lack of supply, homes are selling in an average of 86 days – two days more quickly than January of last year.

Florida housing markets’ year-to-year changes

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: Active listings down 20.2%, with 4 fewer days on the market
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: Active listings down 15.8%, with 6 fewer days on the market
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: Active listings down 11.2% with 3 fewer days on the market
  • Jacksonville: Active listings down 10.5% with 5 fewer days on the market

©Florida Realtors® 
Reprinted with permission Florida Realtors. All rights reserved.

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Allen Thompson

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