Inventory rises to meet demand

Real estate records show that in May, home inventory climbed a bit closer to reaching where it was in May of 2012, following a month-over-month increase in April.

Real estate records show that in May, home inventory climbed a bit closer to reaching where it was in May of 2012, following a month-over-month increase in April. Active listings experienced an uptick from March to April of 6.4 person, while listings from April to May rose by 4.2 percent, according to a report from Redfin. 

A lack of inventory tempered the recovery of the housing market in the past year, with inventory hitting a low of 1.74 million listings nationwide, a number that was preceded only in December 1999, according to Reuters. 

"What has changed in the last 60 days is that these owners are now listing, selling - and even appraising - at the price they've needed to get all along," said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin. "People who bought near the peak in 2006 and 2007 - only to get buried in the downturn under a mountain of debt - can now, for the first time in years, see daylight."

The Redfin property data report found that inventory is still 22 percent lower than it was in May 2012, but experts anticipate that in October, the numbers will rise to reflect those of October 2012. New listings have drastically increased, at 15 percent from May 2012 to May of this year. This is compared to the 10 percent year-over-year decrease in January.

Number of listings expected to increase
Homeowners who planned on selling their homes in the past few months have opted to wait until home prices increase in order to achieve more equity on their mortgages. Since home prices have increased - 17 percent from May of last year - it has become easier to sell at the price necessary to pay off a mortgage. In addition to the incentive of higher home sale prices, the report stated that the small amount of time homes are spending on the market is encouraging more homeowners to list their houses. 

A rise in inventory is often a precursor to a further rise in industry, Redfin noted. One listing specialist, Paul Stone, said that homeowners are waiting to get a house under contract before listing their own home. Experts have estimated that real estate inventory will rise to just under 200,000 in June, and reach that number by July. 



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