Appraisals and ValuationsReal Estate

Trulia: Home inventory falls for fifth straight quarter to near-record lows

Market still shows signs of improvement

Home inventory fell for the fifth straight quarter in July, nearing record lows, according to the most recent report by Trulia.

This decrease represents the longest streak of inventory decline since 2012, according to the report.

However, all hope is not lost. Inventory in several cities in California and Florida saw an increase in housing inventory. In fact, it seems to be an upward trend in these cities as they see consecutive quarterly increases.

Inventory increased in San Francisco for the fourth straight quarter and Miami for the second straight quarter by 19.3% and 33.1% respectively.

The number of starter and trade-up homes across the nation continue to decrease near double-digit rates each year. Contrarily, inventory fell less than 3.2% for premium homes.

This, of course, is only expanding the affordability crisis. Starter and trade-up buyers need to spend 1.7% and 0.9% more respectively in order to buy a home, while premium home buyers need to pay only 0.6% more.

Part of this move towards more premium home inventory is due to the higher costs of construction and construction workers.

In fact, San Francisco’s competitive employment market is causing many construction companies to lose workers and driving a trend towards more expensive housing.

A chart from Goldman Sachs, in fact, implies that some of this need for new construction workers is due to the lack of immigration, legal or otherwise, since the housing crisis began.

The latest report on housing starts from the U.S. Census Bureau showed a continued slowdown in new homes being built, however 2017 could see a turnaround.

Builder confidence in September hit a new high for 2016, in fact it’s at its highest since October last year, according to the most recent Housing Market Index released by theNational Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

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