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Florida dominates top 20 housing markets for inventory declines

by Jamie Namock on November 18, 2011

Decline of Home inventory

Realtor.com reports US home listings drop 21% from year ago

By Inman News
Inman News™

The total number of homes listed for sale on Realtor.com fell by 3.5 percent from September to October, to 2.12 million — the fifth consecutive monthly decline, the company said.

Inventories of homes listed for sale on Realtor.com were down nearly 21 percent in October from a year ago, with 135 of 146 markets tracked posting double-digit annual percentage declines.

Lower inventories, combined with generally stable list prices, can be seen as a positive sign that the overall housing market is holding its own, Realtor.com said in summarizing statistics pulled from its databases.

But housing markets remain fragile, particularly those with high unemployment rates and large numbers of seriously delinquent borrowers, the company said.

Analyzing a combination of factors, including unemployment rates and annual changes in median list price, median age of inventory, total listings, and Realtor.com search rank, Realtor.com compiled a top 10 list of “Turnaround Towns.”

Eleven of the 20 markets that have seen the greatest annual decline in active listings were in Florida, including Miami, Orlando, and Fort Myers, where inventories were down 40 percent or more from a year ago.

Four other top 20 markets for inventory declines were also located in so-called “sand states”: Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. (-48 percent); Oakland, Calif. (-38 percent); Bakersfield, Calif. (-38 percent); and Fresno, Calif. (-37 percent).

At $189,900, the median list price of all homes tracked by Realtor.com in October was essentially unchanged from September and up 2.6 percent from a year ago. Although 46 markets posted annual declines in median list price, 100 markets held their own or posted gains.

The 10 markets posting the biggest annual decline in median list price were Chicago (-12.6 percent); Detroit (-10.9 percent); Las Vegas (-10.4 percent); Atlanta (-8.6 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach (-7 percent); Ventura, Calif. (-7 percent); Sacramento, Calif. (-6.7 percent); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Fla. (-6.6 percent); Orange County, Calif. (-6.6 percent); and San Francisco (-6 percent).

Eight of the 10 markets posting the largest annual increase in median list price were located in Florida.

The median age of Realtor.com listings in October was 110 days, up 2.8 percent from September but down 1.79 percent from a year ago. Most markets with the longest median inventory age were located in the Southeast, including the South-South Carolina RSA, which topped the list at 185 days.

The 10 markets with the freshest inventory by median age in October were Oakland, Calif. (49 days); Denver (52 days); Fresno, Calif. (61 days); Phoenix-Mesa (62 days); Stockton-Lodi, Calif. (66 days); Bakersfield, Calif. (66 days); Detroit (67 days); Washington, D.C. (67 days); San Francisco (68 days); and San Jose, Calif. (73 days).

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