Home Inventory Up 57 Percent in Houston

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Forget the high-speed homebuyer races to write an offer when a new listing appears on the MLS.

And making offers to buy houses sight unseen – it’s over, or it’s dying out fast.

The days of threadbare inventories have come to an end. Homes to buy are more plentiful. The shortage is over.

“October active listings [for Houston] surged 57 percent year-over-year to 23,676 properties in the MLS compared to 15,081 in October of 2021,” says a report from the Houston Association of Realtors.

On national basis, inventory numbers are rising fast, says Realtor.com. “Active listings soared 33.5 percent year-over-year to the highest level since 2020.”

To make matters worse, “October data suggests that fewer home shoppers could afford to take advantage of the rise in available inventory, with time on market continuing to climb amid still-high listing prices,” the Realtor.com report says. “The typical home spent 51 days on the market in October, six days more than last year, but still 20 days faster than the typical 2017-2019 pace.”

“Home shoppers are looking at a monthly mortgage payment that is roughly $1,000 higher than at this time last year, and incomes are rising, but not by that much,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale in the organization’s Monthly Housing Trends Report.

“Combined with asking prices that are still climbing at a double-digit yearly pace, the average American has taken a huge hit to their homebuying power.”

“As the rapid runup in rates reshapes housing market dynamics this fall, both buyers and sellers are taking a step back to recalibrate their plans,” Hale noted.

Realtor.com says October’s accelerated inventory recovery was due largely to moderating buyer demand, fueled by mortgage costs that are rising at a faster pace than inflation and incomes.

An HAR assessment issued in September said home sales in Houston have been declining since April, with percentages climbing each month.

While some softening in seller participation is typical in the fall, the housing report says, this year’s significant new listings declines reflect the impact of home shoppers’ diminished buying power on seller sentiment.

However, sellers may still see strong buyer competition for fewer options in some regions, with inventory still lagging October 2020 levels in the Northeast and Midwest, regions where home sales declines have also been more modest.

The Realtor.com report offered the following insights:

  • In addition to the 33.5 percent growth of inventory over the past year, both newly listed homes (-15.9 percent) and pending listings (-30.0 percent) fell year over year.
  • Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, 42 markets posted yearly active inventory gains in October, led by Phoenix (+173.9 percent), Raleigh, N.C. (+167.4 percent) and Nashville, Tenn. (+145.0 percent). The number of for-sale homes was still down year-over-year in the remaining eight markets, with the largest totals in Hartford, Conn. (-25.7 percent), Virginia Beach, Va. (-11.0 percent) Milwaukee (-9.6 percent) and Chicago (-9.6 percent)
  • On average across the 50 largest metros, no regions saw year-over-year new listing increases in October, with the greatest declines registered in the West (-20.6 percent), followed by the Northeast (-17.4 percent), Midwest (-15.0 percent) and South (-9.8 percent). The number of newly listed homes increased in just four markets, two of them in Texas: Dallas (+5.6 percent) and San Antonio (+1.4 percent).
  • Compared to October 2020, active inventory was higher in 32 of the 50 biggest markets, led by western (+33.9 percent) and southern metros (+7.2 percent); Phoenix (+132.0 percent), Austin (+120.8 percent), Riverside, Calif. (+67.2 percent), Memphis, Tenn. (+59.7 percent) and Nashville (+55.7 percent).
  • Inventory remained lower than two years ago in the Northeast (-21.1 percent) and Midwest (-7.9 percent).

Amid the gloom, the Realtor.com economist found a ray of hope. “Our data indicates that some aspiring homeowners are finding ways to make the most of inventory conditions, such as by exploring relatively affordable metros.For buyers with the flexibility, relocating to a lower-priced market could help offset higher mortgage costs.”

“There’s also a takeaway for sellers in these areas,” she said. “On a well-priced home, you could still see strong interest from these out-of-towners.”


Nov 3, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022

File: Home Inventory Up 57 Percent in Houston

Photo  credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright 2022

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