The number of homes listed for sale declined sharply in a number of U.S. cities during the second quarter, offering glimmers of hope that some housing markets are starting to recover.
At the end of June, nearly 2.34 million homes were listed for sale on multiple-listing services in more than 900 metro areas, the lowest level for that time of year since at least 2007, according to Realtor.com. In some cases, inventory levels are at their lowest levels since the housing downturn began five years ago.
Shrinking inventory often is seen as a positive sign for housing because it usually means demand is rising, which often leads to higher prices. But in the current environment, the decline in inventory may instead reflect how the market remains anything but healthy. While sales are picking up in some cities, analysts say the sharp decline in inventory also reflects the slow pace at which banks are processing foreclosures.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Housing inventories declined in the second quarter
From The Wall Street Journal: