Forget Zombie Listings, U.S. Buyers Devour Housing Inventory
Realtor.com is reporting this week that demand for U.S. real estate in October 2016 remained strong for the season amid unusually low levels of supply, leading to the site's largest monthly decline in for-sale inventory since July 2015. Homes for sale in October are moving two percent more quickly than this time last year, even as prices remain at record highs.
In October, the median age of properties on Realtor.com listing portal, a measure of market inventory - is expected to be 79 days, two days less than last year, but two days more than last month. The drop from September is likely due to the fall season's characteristic market slow down, as cooler weather and approaching holidays become a factor in some markets.
The median list price stubbornly remained at $250,000, eight percent higher than one year ago and unchanged from last month. That continues the record-setting trend this year, and marks a new high for October.
For-sale housing inventory has experienced a sharper decline than usual, intensifying the supply shortage. Only 415,000 new listings entered the market in October, and total inventory remains far lower than one-year ago.
Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com said, "October is typically thought of as the off-season for home sales, but this year buyers are gobbling up inventory like it's Halloween candy. In fact, the number of homes for sale declined more in October than at any other point this summer, leaving us with 11 percent fewer active listings than a year earlier and the largest monthly inventory drop since July 2015." Key Market Statistics:
- Median age of inventory in October is estimated to be 79 days, down two percent from October 2015 and up three percent from last month.
- Median listing price for October should reach a record high of $250,000, an eight percent increase year-over-year and flat month-over-month.
- Listing inventory in October should show a three-percent decrease over September. Additionally, inventory should show a decrease of 11 percent year-over-year.
- Realtor.com's Hottest Markets are seeing inventory move 18-45 days more quickly than the rest of the U.S. The hottest markets are seeing inventory movement starting to slow down with the median age down 2 days on average from September.