Economic Update…Inventory declines.

Another house price index, this one is based on prices per sq ft ...

Across 19 major metropolitan markets, June prices increased 3.0% year over year, and 2.6% month over month. The number of homes for sale declined 25.3% from June 2011 to June 2012, and by 2.4% since May. Sales increased 4.3% over last year, but actually slipped 1.1% since May. The percentage of listings that sold within 14 days of their debut remained steady since May at 28.5%.

Inventory has been slow to rise because some home-owners can’t sell; their home is worth less than they owe the bank. Many others more don’t want to sell, because they can rent their house for more each month than their bank payment, and because they believe prices may improve. With vacancies are on the decline and rents rising, for many sellers it just makes more sense to rent out the home rather than sell.There is limited historical data for this index. In 2011, sales were fairly weak in the April through July period, and a 4.3% increase in year-over-year sales for June would be less than the approximately 10% year-over-year increase in sales NAR reported for April and May of this year.

The reported 25.3% decrease in inventory is similar to other sources and is a key driver for the small year-over-year price increase.

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Posted by Bill McBride

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