Realtor.com’s October 2019 Housing Report indicated that buyer competition is “heating up” for Q4 2019 and Q1 2020 due to the nation-wide housing inventory shortage.

George Ratiu, realtor.com‘s senior economist, said, “Owning a home continues to be a priority for (prospective) buyers as we head into the cooler months of the year. Driven by a tailwind of sub-4% mortgage rates, the steady demand for housing is drying up market inventory at an accelerating pace. With dwindling supplies, prices continue to maintain their upward pressure, (exacerbating) affordability challenges for first time buyers.”

Across the country, inventory dropped a whopping -6.9% y/y in October 2019. That -6.9% inventory drop translates into 98,000 fewer listings. Additionally, the volume of new listings, not listings that have lagged too long on the market, dropped -3.4% compared to last year at this time.

Take a look at inventory declines by price point:

  • For houses priced below $200,000, inventory has fallen -15.2% annually.
  • For mid-tier houses priced from $200,000 to $750,000, inventory has fallen -4.3% annually.
  • For upper-tier houses priced +$750,000, inventory rose +1.3%

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In the nation’s largest metros, inventory dropped -5.3%. The steepest inventory declines occurred in…

  • San Diego-Carlsbad – -20.1%
  • Rochester NY – -20.1%
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale – -20%
  • Arlington-Alexandria – -19.6%
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – -19.4%
  • Cincinnati – -18.6%
  • Oklahoma City – -17.6%
  • Memphis – -17.3%
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport – -17.3%
  • Providence-Warwick – -16.2%

Also read: eXp Launches Its Own Iteration of Instant Offers Program, The Most Affordable Neighborhoods in the Country, The Top 10% Are NOT Spending – Does This Signal A Consumer Recession?