Housing Inventories Rise for Eighth Straight Month!

Inquiring minds are wondering where the ‘top’ is after reading the WSJ article detailing housing inventories rising AGAIN:

Inventories traditionally rise modestly in August. Zelman & Associates, a research firm, says listings have typically risen by 2% in August over the past 28 years.

The less-than-average gain in inventories is troubling, nonetheless, because demand has fallen sharply since a tax credit to spur sales expired earlier this year. At the current pace, it would take 12.5 months to clear the backlog of unsold homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. A healthy market typically a six-month supply of homes. Inventories nationally remain at their highest levels since November 2008, according to Zelman data.

The August inventory in the 26 markets tracked by ZipRealty showed a 10.6% year-over-year increase in the number of unsold homes listed for sale. A number of cities, including Houston, Philadelphia, and Orange County, Calif., remain at 18 month highs. “It’s across the country where you’re seeing really big inventory levels,” says Pat Lashinsky, chief executive of ZipRealty.

The major metropolitan areas showing the largest gains…

The biggest gains in inventory continue to come from overheated Western markets where bidding wars on foreclosures pushed the housing supply down to very low levels one year ago. Las Vegas saw inventory rise by 9.3% from July, while listings were up by 4.6% in Phoenix and 3.8% in San Diego.

Compared to one year ago, inventories are up by 59% in San Diego, 43% in Orange County, Calif., and 25% in Los Angeles.

Hold on…it’s going to be a bumpy ride in California.


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