When it comes to the housing market, the conversation has been dominated by pricey properties and short supply—but, under the radar, there has been an improvement in inventory, according to realtor.com®’s recently released July 2018 Monthly Housing Trend Report.
The easing, however, is not at the entry level, but in the high-priced tier. In July, the inventory of listings priced $350,000-plus was up 5.7 percent, but inverted in the lower segment—dropping 15.6 percent at $200,000 and under. Inventory in the $200,000-$350,000 range slipped 0.6 percent.
Moreover, inventory is down 4 percent year-over-year, which is half the average 8 percent observed in the past year, and inventory in 16 of the largest markets has risen year-over-year.
“July inventory growth [was] in high-priced, competitive markets, and often at the pricier end of these markets,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. “It’s not just California markets that have seen an increase in inventory; markets on both coasts and in the South reported inventory increases in July.
“Although signs of an inventory turnaround are encouraging, whether they mean good news for buyers remains to be seen,” Hale says. “These areas are seeing more new listings and some construction growth, but high prices and fast-selling homes are causing some buyer hesitation which is reflected in fewer home sales.”
According to the report, the July median national price was $299,000, a record.