by CalculatedRisk on 4/05/2012
Another update: I’ve been using inventory numbers from HousingTracker / DeptofNumbers to track changes in inventory. Tom Lawler mentioned this last year.
According to the deptofnumbers.com for (54 metro areas), inventory is off 20.4% compared to the same week last year. Unfortunately the deptofnumbers only started tracking inventory in April 2006.
This graph shows the NAR estimate of existing home inventory through February (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through early April.
Since the NAR released their revisions for sales and inventory, the NAR and HousingTracker inventory numbers have tracked pretty well.
Seasonally housing inventory usually bottoms in December and January and then starts to increase again through mid to late summer. So seasonally inventory should increase over the next several months.
The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.
HousingTracker reported that the early April listings – for the 54 metro areas – declined 20.4% from the same period last year. The year-over-year decline will probably start to slow since listed inventory is getting close to normal levels. Also if there is an increase in foreclosures (as expected), this will slow the year-over-year decline.
This is just inventory listed for sale, there is also a large “shadow inventory” that is currently not on the market, but is expected to be listed in the next few years. But this year-over-year decline remains a significant story.