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Mortgage

Realtor.com: Tightening inventories likely to push home prices up

Inventories tightened 8.7% from January 2014 to January 2015

Housing inventory continues to tighten in markets across the country – a 2015 trend identified by realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke in its housing inventory data report for January.

Nationwide total listings declined by 6.7% month over month and about 8.7% year over year.

“January’s inventory data suggest a continuation of the tightening trend we identified last month in the December data, and with a shortage of inventory typically comes increased home prices,” Smoke said. “Half of the 200 markets realtor.com tracks experienced year-over-year price increases of at least 6% in January.”

Despite a shortage of inventory nationally, data on the 200 largest markets found a handful of housing markets categorized as healthy and growing.

These markets include: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA,;Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida, and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

“These four markets are bucking the trend, showing notable increases year over year in total listing counts and median list prices as well as clear declines in median inventory age,” Smoke said. “We will likely see the most sales growth in these markets in the coming months.”

Key monthly indicators for the national housing market include:

  • Median list price – $211,000 (Up 8.8% year over year)
  • Total listing count – 1,591,853 (Down 8.7% year over year)
  • Median age of inventory – 103 Days (Down 4.6% year over year)

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