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U.S. housing supply reaches new low

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 7, 2020
National housing inventory declined 13.6 percent in January, the steepest year-over-year decrease in more than 4 years.
U.S. home
U.S. homes   That is pushing the supply of for sale homes in the U.S. to its lowest level
That is pushing the supply of for sale homes in the U.S. to its lowest level since realtor.com began tracking the data in 2012, according to the website's January Monthly Housing Trends Report released today.

Topics: U.S. housing

Based on realtor.com 's analysis, January's steep year-over-year decline amounted to a national loss of 164,000 listings, tightening the grip of the housing shortage plaguing the U.S. Based on realtor.com data, it shows no signs of easing in the near future as the volume of newly listed properties also declined by 10.6 percent since last year.

The supply shortage is found at every price tier throughout the U.S., but it is especially pronounced at the entry-level.

In January, properties priced under $200,000 declined by 19 percent, an acceleration compared to December's decline of 18.1 percent.

The decline in inventory of mid-tier properties priced between $200,000 and $750,000 also accelerated, to a decline of 12 percent year-over-year, compared to December's 10.2 percent decline.

Even upper-tier properties priced at more than $750,000 declined by 5.9 percent year-over-year compared to December's decline of 4.4 percent.

As inventory reached its lowest point on record, 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 percent year-over-year, to $299,995 in January, while prices in 18 metros grew by more than 10 percent.

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 percent 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.

The metros which saw the largest declines in housing inventory were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (-37.3 percent); Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (-35.4 percent); and San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. (-34.0 percent). Other markets across the country where housing supply had sharp declines included Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (-28.8 percent); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. (-27.8 percent); and Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. (-24.4 percent).

Only two of the 50 largest metros saw inventory increase year-over-year: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (+9.4 percent); and San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas (+8.4 percent).

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. (+16.0 percent); Rochester, N.Y. (+15.0 percent); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (+14.5 percent) posted the highest year-over-year median list price growth in January. Other markets across the country where housing prices shot up included Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. (+13.7 percent); and Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. (+12.9 percent).

The steepest price declines were seen in Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. (-4.0 percent); Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (-2.0 percent); and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, Texas (-1.9 percent). However, each of these markets saw yearly price declines decelerate compared to December.

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Oklahoma City, Okla.; saw the largest decreases in days on market with properties spending 13, 13, and 12 fewer days on the market than last year, respectively. Other markets across the country where houses sold faster than last year included Austin-Round Rock, Texas (-9 days); Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (-6 days); and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (-6 days).

Meanwhile, properties in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.; and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich. sold 7, 7, and 6 days more slowly, respectively.