Here’s where you’ll find the least housing inventory

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Sacramento’s big shortage

Want lots of housing options? Then avoid Sacramento or Charlotte. According to new data, they’ve experienced the biggest inventory crunches in the nation. In fact, listings in both cities have dropped more than 50 percent in the last three years.

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Cities with the biggest inventory problems

According to data from, housing inventory has shrunk 55.1 percent in Sacramento since 2015. The market now has 10.4 million less square feet than it did three years ago.

The big problems here are demand (San Francisco and San Jose buyers head here for more affordability), as well as lagging construction. New homes make up only 1 percent of all listings in the city, compared to 9.5 percent of the nation’s listings as a whole.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, housing inventory has decreased by 52.2 percent since 2015, with the city losing 17.2 million square feet of listed real estate.

Other cities where inventory has shrunk significantly include Indianapolis; Buffalo, New York; Detroit; Minneapolis; Milwaukee; Louisville, Kentucky; Richmond, Virginia; and Seattle.

Inventory relief may be on its way, data shows

A silver lining

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. Housing inventory has actually been improving in recent months.

“It’s worth noting that inventory is now beginning to rise again, at least in some of the biggest markets, as fewer sellers are underwater these days and many want to cash out while prices are still high,” said’s Lance Lambert. “But it’s not enough just yet to make a dent in the shortages.”

In fact, just last month, new listings were up 8 percent — their biggest jump in five years.

The inventory turn-around: New listings see biggest jump in 5 years

Inventory is also more robust in pricier markets — places like San Jose, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and Portland Oregon.

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