by Bill McBride on 8/06/2012
Here is another update using inventory numbers from HousingTracker / DeptofNumbers to track changes in listed inventory. Tom Lawler mentioned this last year.
According to the deptofnumbers.com for (54 metro areas), inventory is off 22.8% 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 June (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through early August.
Since the NAR released their revisions for sales and inventory last year, the NAR and HousingTracker inventory numbers have tracked pretty well.
On a seasonal basis, housing inventory usually bottoms in December and January and then starts to increase again through the summer. Inventory only increased a little this spring and has been declining for the last three months by this measure. It looks like inventory has peaked for this year.
The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.
This decline in active inventory remains a huge story, and the lower level of inventory is pushing up house prices.