With the recent government shutdown, struggling housing market, and major changes in the mortgage industry, it seems the U.S. economy has been through the ringer lately. Fortunately, things are back on track and the real estate market has proved its resiliency with rising home prices and increased inventory. While some areas are still lagging behind when it comes to available homes for sale (Florida comes to mind), many states and major metros are seeing spikes in listing activity.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales (including condominiums and co-ops) were running at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million homes in July. This marked a pretty impressive jump from the 5.06 million homes the month before.
While the summer’s figures were looking good, the onset of fall and the approach of the holiday season may cause new listings and home sales to wind down. Hopefully, this will just be a temporary change, with Spring 2014 bringing a higher level of housing activity.
Not all metros had plush summers when it came to real estate inventory. In Seattle, the supply was down to 1.5 months’ worth in July. This represented a drop from 1.6 months in June. Atlanta fared a little better, with an inventory of 3.6 months’ supply in July.
Recent reports reveal that the tight inventory is beginning to ease up, particularly in California. The Golden State’s housing availability showed some nice improvements over the summer, with the Los Angeles-Long Beach market inventory climbing 7.8 percent from June to July. More recently, Realtor.com reports that listings for this market increased 1.60 percent from August to September and jumped 25.21 percent from September 2012.
Inventory in Orange County, Calif. rose 8.4 percent in July, but remains 2.3 percent below last year’s figures. Riverside and San Bernadino counties also saw increases in their late summer inventory with a 3.2 percent spike month-over-month and a 26 percent increase year-over-year. Realtor.com reports that this market saw a 3.44 percent increase in inventory from August to September and jumped a whopping 47.99 percent from September 2012.
Other markets with notable listing increases include…
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (+4.09% m-o-m; +5.19% y-o-y)
- Orlando, FL (+5.12% m-o-m; +12.46% y-o-y)
- Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (+8.06% m-o-m; +7.74% y-o-y)
- Oakland, CA (+1.22% m-o-m; +16.38% y-o-y)
For a look at Realtor.com’s full real estate summary for September 2013, click here.