Home/Mortgages/Housing Inventory Remains at Historic Lows

October 17, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Home listing prices remained relatively stable from August to September with prices increasing less than one percent while the number of homes listed for sale remained at historic lows according to the latest housing data of 146 metro areas released by Realtor.com.

Total listings of existing homes for sale fell 2.19 percent from August with a total of 1,803,347 single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops were listed for sale in September compared to 1,843,736 in August. The total number of homes listed for sale was 17.77 percent lower than a year ago.

The median list price for an existing home in September was $191,500, up 0.78 percent from both the previous month and September 2011’s average list price of $190,000.

The Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA, area showed the greatest improvement in year-over-year list prices for the fourth consecutive month in September. List prices in the area are up 32.05 percent over September of last year. The Phoenix-Mesa, AZ, area held on to the second spot for a third month with a 26.66 percent increase from a year ago.

San Francisco retained its position in the third spot for the second consecutive month with an 18.11 percent annual increase followed by San Jose with a 17.50 percent year-over-year increase with the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA, area rounding out the top five with an annual increase of 14.98 percent.

Peoria-Pekin, IL, ended its three month reign as the area with the argest decline in year-over-year list prices, yielding to last month’s number two, Charleston, WV. Year-over-year, list prices in Charleston are down 11.04 percent while in Peoria-Pekin, list prices are down 10.35 percent.

Rounding out the bottom five was Fort Wayne, IN, with an 6.33 percent decline, followed by the Trenton, NJ area with a 5.73 percent decline and the Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI, area where annual list prices declined by 5.68 percent.

List prices are not necessarily indicative of selling prices, but may signal market sentiment by sellers. All together, 86 of the areas saw an increase in list prices, down from 101 the previous month.

The average number of days that an existing home spent on the market increased to 95 in September from 91 in August but was still down from 106 days in September of last year. Forty-two out of the 146 metropolitan areas required 100 days or more to sell a home, up from 34 in August.

Residents selling their homes in the southern region of South Carolina continued to wait the longest to sell their homes, averaging 164 days on the market, up from 158 days the previous month. Residents in Oakland had the shortest wait for the 12th consecutive month, averaging 21 days on the market, up from 20 days the previous month.

Tags: housing inventory, listed homes, home prices, median sales price, average list price