Housing inventory takes a steep dive, especially on lower-priced homes

October 28, 2019 - 1 min read

Housing inventory remains strapped

For-sale housing inventory is still painfully low. According to new data, it dropped 6.4 percent over the year, hitting its lowest point in six years.

Verify your new rate

For-sale housing inventory falls

According to a report from Zillow, for-sale housing inventory slid 6.4 percent from September 2018 to September 2019.

Currently, there are less than 1.5 million homes on the market — the smallest number since at least 2013, when Zillow started tracking the stat.

Inventory has declined for seven months straight, with a significant dip (-4.6 percent) in August. It had previously started to rise in late 2018 (after 44 consecutive months of decreases), but began falling again in February of this year.

Forget paying full listing price; here’s where buyers can find deals this fall

Low-priced properties fall the most

The decreases have been most prevalent on lower-priced properties. According to Zillow’s data, for-sale homes in the lowest price tier dropped 10.3 percent over the year. Homes in this price tier are also less likely to see a price cut, (only 12.7 percent saw a price reduction last month, versus 17.3 percent of high-priced homes and 15.7 percent of homes overall.)

As Cory Hopkins, Zillow’s senior managing editor, explains, “The inventory buildup and eventual decline was especially severe among entry-level homes valued in the bottom one-third of all homes, which are often targeted by first-time and/or low-income buyers.”

Be wary of ‘bargain’ home listings; many are too good to be true

Broken down, about 640,000 for-sale homes are in the top third in terms of pricing. Over 400,000 are in the middle third of pricing, and just 300,000 are in the lowest third.

Verify your new rate

Get today’s mortgage rates

Are you looking to buy a house this fall? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you

Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.