Housing Market

Housing inventory is seeing unusual gains in November. Should we be worried? 

Dive into the latest housing market data in a weekly video, key takeaways from Altos Research

Last week, I asserted that housing inventory growth had finished for the year. Turns out I was wrong!

This week, the available inventory of unsold single-family homes crept up minimally. It looks like this is evidence that housing markets are returning to normal rather than a case of sellers panicking, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

After all, more sellers means more sales in 2024.

Watch the video above to get the latest housing market update from Altos Research.

Short on time as you prepare for Thanksgiving? Check out some key data takeaways below for the week ending Nov. 20.

Housing inventory inches up

There were 570,000 single-family homes on the market, or 0.5% more homes for sale than last week and 36% lower housing inventory than in 2019.

Keep in mind that those snowbird states in the South aren’t as affected by the seasonal slowdown in sales thanks to their warmer weather. For instance, we are seeing inventory growth this month in Florida cities such as Sarasota, Miami and Tampa.

Texas housing inventory is inching up this month notably higher than last year. In fact, Austin and San Antonio in Texas, as well as Memphis, have more housing inventory now than in 2019.

More new listings could help boost sales

We saw 58,000 new listings added to the housing inventory this week, with 9,000 of those already under contract. That’s more new sellers this year than the same week a year ago, signaling a tiny improvement in our supply-starved housing market.

This means we should see slightly better home sales volumes in November compared to a year ago. However, we’re watching to make sure there’s no flood of sellers or a shrinking of immediate sales that would indicate a weakening market. 

Pending-home sales grow

Pending-home sales are finally getting close to eclipsing last year. We started 2023 with 30% fewer homes under contract than in 2022, however, that gap has narrowed to just 3% now.

What does that mean? It’s a positive sign we’re near the bottom of the housing recession and maybe we can claw our way back to a more stable housing market in 2024.

Home prices hold their own amid higher housing inventory

Notably, there are no signs of falling home prices with this fall’s sellers. The median price of single-family homes in the U.S. is at $428,000, which is 2% higher than this week a year ago.

It’s also worth noting that the home prices of new listings (a leading indicator) isn’t strained by downward price pressure.

Mike Simonsen is the president and founder of Altos Research.

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