Inventory Losses: 5 Cities Suffering the Worst

According to Realtor® Magazine some markets are beginning to feel the relief of more for-sale inventory, but others are seeing the number of listings further shrink. And where inventory continues to be constrained, home prices are accelerating, bidding wars are erupting, and buyers are finding fewer choices than ever before. “Competition [for homes] has virtually doubled over the past five years,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com®.

Realtor.com® analyzed the amount of inventory that has disappeared from the market over the past three years within the 50 largest metros. Minneapolis, for example, has lost the equivalent of two Malls of America in housing inventory in that period.

So here are the metros where the number of homes on the market is shrinking at the fastest rate. And what it all means as researchers identified the following places, where the number of homes on the market has dropped the most in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same time period in 2015.

  1. Sacramento, Calif.
  • Median list price: $453,000
  • Decrease in inventory: 55.1%
  1. Charlotte, N.C.
  • Median list price: $334,600
  • Decrease in inventory: 52.2%
  1. Indianapolis
  • Median list price: $260,000
  • Decrease in inventory: 49.6%
  1. Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Median list price: $190,000
  • Decrease in inventory: 47.1%
  1. Detroit
  • Median list price: $248,500
  • Decrease in inventory: 46.4%

The bottom line is that the total number of homes for sale is about as low as it’s ever been. Inventory listed on realtor.com in the first six months of 2018 is 18.2% lower than the same period in 2015. The sheer number of homes on the market in January 2018 was only 6.2 Million, according to U.S. Census a gigantic drop-off from the 14.3 Million total in January 2009. Current inventory levels are comparable with what they were in the early ’60s, when the Census started collecting the data and the U.S. had roughly half its current population.

The shrinking number of homes available means more bidding wars, bigger price hikes, and less selection. And this isn’t something that is limited to a handful of places. Of the 50 largest markets, 39 saw a decrease in inventory over the past three years.

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. But it’s not enough just yet to make a dent in the shortages.

Writer: Shaura Cuyan 

Shaura Cuyan writes about all the hottest Real Estate trends and predictions for
Summit VA Solutions. She has previously written for a number of freelancing gigs
and writes her own blog on lifestyle and current issues. She is a Graduate of Bachelor
of Arts in Communication, taking up her Masters majoring in Development Communication.