December 8 2010 (Chris Moore)
According to figures compiled by ZipRealty Inc., the number of homes listed for sale declined in many metropolitan areas last month by a larger than usual amount. The supply of homes in 26 major metropolitan areas fell by 3.8 percent, marking the second straight monthly inventory decline.

The data covers all single-family homes, condos, and town houses listed on local multiple listing services (MLS) where Zip Realty operates.

Real estate analysts believe that the foreclosure suspensions may have played a critical role in the decline in listings. Typically inventories decline in November around 1.8 percent based on data collected over the last 28 years.

Inventory was still up by 11.6 percent from a year ago and it would take approximately 10.5 months at the current sales rate to clear the backlog of homes. A healthy market typically has a six month supply.

The largest month-over-month declines came in Boston (10%); Austin, Texas (9.5%); San Francisco (9.3%); and Seattle (7.4%).
Inventories fell for the first time this year in Los Angeles, whereas inventories increased in Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, and Tucson, Arizona. Those four cities were the only metropolitan areas to show an increase in inventories.

Tags: housing inventory, single-family homes, condominiums, town houses, foreclosure suspensions, inventories decline