The Housing Chronicles Blog: Housing supply remaining steady

Friday, February 8, 2008

Housing supply remaining steady

Although home listings typically rise in January, this year they only rose by 1.1% in 29 different areas studied according to ZipRealty, although they're still up by 20% from a year ago for 18 areas in which comparable data is available. From a WSJ article:

Total listings of homes in 29 metro areas at the end of last month were up 1.1% from a month earlier, according to figures compiled by ZipRealty Inc., a real-estate-brokerage firm based in Emeryville, Calif. The data cover all listings of single-family homes, condos and town houses on local multiple-listing services in those areas, where Zip operates.

Listings normally rise about 5% in January from December, said Thomas Lawler, a housing economist in Leesburg, Va. The lack of a big January rise this year suggests that people who don't need to sell their homes are taking them off the market because "conditions are so lousy," Mr. Lawler said...

Despite the small January increase, there are still plenty of homes available, and sales remain sluggish. Inventory was up 20% from January 2007 in 18 metro areas for which Zip has comparable year-earlier data.

The National Association of Realtors said yesterday that its pending-home-sales index in December declined 1.5% from a month earlier to 85.9. A sale is considered pending when a contract has been signed but the transaction hasn't been completed. The index equates the 2001 level of activity to 100.

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