Major metros see big jump in housing inventory

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

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It seems the longstanding shortage of housing inventory may be on its way out — particularly in some of America’s higher-priced markets. In fact, according to new data from Trulia, some of the nation’s most expensive markets have actually seen the highest jump in listings over the last year.

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Top spots for housing inventory

According to a new inventory report from Trulia, many of the country’s pricer markets have seen an influx of housing inventory since 2017. In San Jose, California, for example, inventory jumped nearly 67 percent over the last year. San Jose currently ranks at No. 2 for highest home price in the nation.

Home price growth finally slows its pace

Salt Lake City — another hot and pricy market — came in second for biggest inventory jump in the last year, with listings rising 45 percent since Q3 2017.

Other metros that have seen big inventory gains include: Seattle (a 44.3 percent increase over the year); California’s San Diego (37.7 percent), Ventura County (31.6 percent), Oakland (25.9 percent), Bakersfield (21.4 percent) and Orange County (20.7 percent); Colorado Springs, Colorado (21.9 percent); and Nashville, Tennessee (21.1 percent).

Housing inventory relief may be on its way, data shows

An inventory turnaround

Though inventory as a whole still hasn’t increased nationally, its rate of decline has certainly slowed. Listings declined 2.5 percent over the year — the smallest overall decrease since 2015, according to Trulia’s report.

Inventory is also rising on starter and trade-up homes as well. Starter homes now make up 20.9 percent of all inventory, while trade-up homes make up nearly 30 percent — a 0.9 percent jump from a year ago. The share of premium home inventory has declined since Q3 last year.

“Home buyers may be pleasantly surprised to see more homes on the market, as housing inventory starts to make a comeback after years of decline,” said Cheryl Young, a senior economist at Trulia. “While this is ultimately good news for frustrated buyers, years of steadily increasing prices mean that those hoping to buy a home will need to spend a bigger share of their income once they find one. Nonetheless, those buyers daunted by low inventory and high prices have reason to be cautiously optimistic as parts of the housing market begin to ease.”

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