by CalculatedRisk on 7/16/2011 10:33:00 PM
Last month, Tom Lawler posted on how the NAR estimates existing home inventory. The NAR does NOT aggregate data from the local boards (see Tom’s post for how the NAR estimates inventory). Sometime this summer, I expect the NAR to revise down their estimates of inventory and sales for the last few years. Also the NAR methodology for estimating sales and inventory will likely (hopefully) be changed.
While we wait for the NAR, I think the HousingTracker data that Tom mentioned might be a better estimate of changes in inventory (and always more timely). Ben at HousingTracker.net is tracking the aggregate monthly inventory for 54 metro areas.
This graph shows the NAR estimate of existing home inventory through May (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through mid-July. The HousingTracker data shows a steeper decline (as mentioned above, the NAR will probably revise down their inventory estimates this summer).
HousingTracker reported that the mid-July listings – for the 54 metro areas – declined 10.9% from last year.
Of course there is a large percentage of distressed inventory, and various categories of “shadow inventory” too. But the decline in listed inventory will put less downward pressure on house prices and is something to watch carefully all year.