U.S. Housing Market Accelerates Headfirst Into Inventory Declines
Interest rates are making it cheaper to buy a home, if you can find one
- National inventory declined by 6.9 percent year-over-year, while inventory in large markets decreased by 5.3 percent.
- The October U.S. median listing price was $312,000, up 4.3 percent year-over-year
- Nationally, homes sold in 66 days in October, three days more quickly than last year
Realtor.com®’s October data release shows that U.S. housing is heading into an increasingly competitive market as inventory declines, the pace of sales reaccelerates, and the share of price cuts stabilizes for the first time since spring 2018.
The total number of homes available for sale continues to decline both locally and at the national level at an accelerating pace. Nationally, inventory decreased 6.9 percent in October, a faster rate of decline compared to the 4.1 percent drop in September. This decline amounted to a loss of 98,000 listings compared to this time last year. Additionally, the volume of new listings hitting the market has decreased by 3.4 percent since last year. However, the new listing share of active inventory has increased 0.7 percent, from 23.5 percent of active listings to 24.1 percent of active listings this October. After 6 months of declines in the share of new listings, this could be an early indicator of inventory declines moderating.
Housing inventory in the 50 largest U.S. metros also declined by 5.3 percent year over year in October. The metros which saw the biggest declines in inventory were San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (-20.1 percent); Rochester, NY (-20.1 percent); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (-20.0 percent). Only nine of the 50 metros saw inventory increase over the year. The ones in which inventory increased the most were Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (+15.7 percent); Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (+14.0 percent); and San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (+8.8 percent).
Homes Are Selling More Quickly
Nationally, homes sold in 66 days in October, three days more quickly than October of last year. Following declines in inventory, the days a typical property spends on the market is also declining. Last month, the time a typical property spent on the market had increased by one day compared to last year.
In the 50 largest U.S. metros, the typical home sold one day more quickly than last year. Raleigh, NC; Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT; and Birmingham-Hoover, AL saw the largest decreases in days on market with properties spending 11, 9 and 9 fewer days on the market than last year, respectively. On the flip-side, properties in Los Angeles-Long Beach, Anaheim, CA; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV; sold 14, 11, and 11 days more slowly, respectively.
Listing Prices Continue to Grow, at a Slower Pace
The median U.S. listing price grew by 4.3 percent, to $312,000 in October. This is a deceleration compared to last month, when the median listing price grew by 5.3 percent over the year. Of the largest 50 metros, 43 saw year-over-year gains in median listing prices. Birmingham-Hoover, AL (+15.4 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (+13.9 percent); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (+13.0 percent) posted the highest year-over-year median list price growth in October. The steepest declines were seen in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (-2.9 percent), Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN (-2.9 percent) and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (-1.6 percent).
In October, 22.0 percent of active listings saw their listing prices reduced. This share is unchanged from last October. However, the share of price cuts had been consistently increasing since the spring of 2018, and this change in trajectory could indicate that listing prices may soon stabilize. Among the nation’s largest markets, 35 of the 50 saw a decrease in their share of price reductions compared to last year. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA saw the greatest decrease in price reductions in October, down 9.8 percent. It was followed by San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (-8.3 percent) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (-6.8 percent).
Metros Seeing the Largest Declines in Inventory
|Metro||Active Listing Count YoY||Median Listing Price||Median Listing Price YoY||Median Days on Market||Median Days on Market Y-Y|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||-20.1%||$715,000||7.0%||44||8|
|Oklahoma City, OK||-17.6%||$253,250||7.9%||53||-8|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||-17.3%||$299,900||7.1%||61||-4|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||-13.9%||$410,000||3.4%||53||5|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||-12.6%||$224,664||4.5%||66||0|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||-12.4%||$356,450||1.9%||59||-2|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||-11.7%||$279,900||3.7%||64||-9|
|Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY||-10.2%||$199,900||5.3%||45||-4|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||-7.1%||$279,900||4.5%||60||3|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||-6.5%||$299,700||3.4%||57||-4|
|New Orleans-Metairie, LA||-6.5%||$284,450||1.6%||72||-3|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||-6.4%||$288,900||6.1%||48||-1|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||-5.4%||$1,108,944||1.1%||42||11|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||-5.4%||$400,000||0.3%||94||5|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||-3.0%||$850,984||13.9%||55||14|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||-2.9%||$939,944||4.6%||35||4|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||-2.0%||$252,450||-2.9%||47||-3|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||-0.5%||$555,000||3.1%||67||-2|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||0.4%||$309,945||-1.6%||63||-1|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||3.8%||$341,875||-0.3%||57||-1|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||4.5%||$321,036||0.5%||54||0|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||8.8%||$289,695||-1.0%||62||-3|
|Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV||14.0%||$319,950||-1.4%||49||11|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||15.7%||$339,900||-2.9%||44||1|
With the release of its October 2019 housing trends report, realtor.com® incorporated a new and improved methodology for capturing and reporting housing inventory trends and metrics. The new methodology uses the latest and most accurate data mapping of listing statuses to yield a cleaner and more consistent measurement of active listings at both the national and local level. The new methodology also allows realtor.com® to achieve more consistency and stability in measurements across markets and in each market over time. As a result of these changes, the data released today will not be directly comparable with previous releases and realtor.com® economics blog posts. However, future data releases, including historical data, will consistently apply the new methodology.
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