Housing Supply Low as Selling Season Begins

Traditionally, President’s Day weekend marks the start of the selling season while inventory flushes the market. This year, however has yet to see an influx in available homes large enough to overcome the lowest inventory numbers in 10 years, according to a recent CNBC article. The supply of homes is the lowest since 2005, but at that time new housing compensated for the lack of availability, whereas this year new housing starts are also down.

According to the National Association of Realtors, inventory at the end of December 2015 was down 4 percent from a year prior on the national level, despite an increase in sales of 8 percent. Locally, January numbers are coming in even lower. For example, Charlotte, N.C. saw a drop in inventory as large as 24 percent from one year ago, with new listings down 6 percent.

In Denver, even with the 4,000 homes the entered the market in January, overall supply is historically low and Philadelphia’s January inventory was down 17 percent. Typically, robust markets would have four to six months of inventory ready to sell as the season starts.