You’ve got more competition this spring. Price those homes accordingly.

March 24, 2011: Nationally, the inventory of unsold homes on multiple-listing services increased by 0.6% in February from one month prior. Over the past year, inventory is up by 13%, according to Move Inc. The data covers all single-family homes, condominiums, and town houses listed on nearly all multiple-listing services across the country.

Las Vegas remained flat from January to February 2011.

Cities with the largest monthly declines in unsold homes listed for sale in February:
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (-12.5%)
Riverside, Calif. (-8.7%)
Tulsa, Okla. (-6.1%)

Cities with the largest monthly increases in unsold homes listed for sale in February:
San Francisco (6.3%)
San Jose, Calif. (5.5%)
Boulder, Colo. (5.2%)

Inventories usually increase in February as more people test the market ahead of the busy spring home-shopping season. Over the past 27 years, the average increase in February has been 3.4%, according to research firm Zelman & Associates.

For the year, only seven of the 146 markets have posted a decline in home listings, including Orlando, Fla., and Jersey City, N.J. The number of homes available for sale in Reno, Nev., is 32% higher than year-ago levels, while Las Vegas and Naples, Fla., had nearly 23% more homes for sale in February than at the same time last year.

Unsurprisingly, the increase in inventory means that more homes are staying on the market longer. The median number of days that homes were listed for sale in February, at 164 days, represents a 2.5% increase from January and a 29% increase from one year ago.

Meanwhile, average listing prices continue to fall, a sign that home prices are still falling across the country. Those listing prices were essentially unchanged from year ago but they were down 0.5% from the previous month, with big declines in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (-8.6%), Honolulu (-5%), and Sacramento, Calif. (-2.5%).

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