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The housing market's inventory crunch deepens as listings fall for the 4th straight month in August

Phil Rosen   

The housing market's inventory crunch deepens as listings fall for the 4th straight month in August
  • August data from Realtor.com showed US housing inventory remains tight.
  • The total number of homes for sale dipped by 9.2% from a year ago, the fourth consecutive month of annual declines.

Realtor.com data published Thursday showed the total number of homes for sale, including homes under contract but not yet sold, fell 9.2% in August compared to last year, marking the fourth consecutive month in a row of annual declines for total listings.

But total inventory has been rising on a monthly basis and is up 19% since January.

Similarly, there were 7.9% fewer homes actively for sale in August versus 2022, but that has been trending up month over month, and rose 3.5% compared to July.

"While inventory continues to be in short supply, August witnessed an unusual uptick in newly listed homes compared to July, hopefully signaling a return in seller activity heading toward the fall season which typically is the best time to buy a home," Realtor.com economists Danielle Hale and Sabrina Speianu said.

Other figures from the report also point to the inventory crunch:

  • Home sellers were less active, with 7.5% fewer newly listed homes compared to last year.
  • Pending listings, or the homes under contract but not yet sold, dipped 11.5% annually.
  • Inventory in the 50 largest US metros remains 45% below pre-pandemic levels.

Americans have had to face these headwinds since the pandemic housing frenzy slowed down and the Federal Reserve raised interest rates at a historically aggressive clip.

Tightening monetary policy has kept mortgage rates elevated near 7%, which has made existing owners reluctant to part ways with the lower rates they secured before, keeping more homes off the market.

While higher mortgage rates would typically lead to lower home prices, low inventory has prevented that from playing out.




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