Analysis: Supply of U.S. Homes Dwindling. Four years after the market crash, a shortage of homes for sale is driving up prices in many U.S. markets. Neighborhoods in California, Florida and Arizona hard hit by the collapse of 2008 have seen double digit prices increases in the last year, as buyers find it increasingly difficult to locate quality properties for sale.
The supply of available homes is now at 4.2 months, down from a glut of 10 months at the worst of the market, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports. In January, the number of homes listed for sale was down 17 percent from a year earlier, as inventories reached the lowest levels in eight years, according to data from Realtor.com
The supply numbers, more than prices, are the most discussed indicators in the latest reports on the U.S. market, which is returning to levels characterized by analysts as “healthy.” Far from any passing trend or media hype, the consistently declining stock of housing is the most reliable barometer of the state of the market, many experts believe.
Around the country the dwindling supply of homes is impacting markets, in different ways.
“A low supply of available homes for sale will affect buyers, especially first-time buyers looking for more affordable, lower-priced homes since they are having to compete with investors and all-cash buyers,” California Association of Realtors president Don Faught said in a report last week.
In Florida’s Broward County, there were 4,517 available single-family homes in Broward at the end of January, down 27 percent from a year ago. In Palm Beach County, the number of homes on the market fell 42 percent.
By Kevin Brass, World Property Channel on March 4, 2013 9:05 AM
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