Key Highlights

  • Housing inventory dropped -13.6% y/y in January 2020
  • Inventory drop in January 2020 biggest drop in more than four years, according to realtor.com
  • Current number of homes on the market comparable to number in 2012

Current housing inventory is at its lowest number since 2012. According to realtor.com, the national housing supply in January 2020 was -13.6% lower than one year ago.

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Danielle Hale, chief economist with realtor.com, said, “Inventory is falling…even in the easiest markets to buy a home, for buyers it means there are fewer options to choose from. Buyers have to make quicker decisions when they are out there shopping and they’re probably dealing with higher prices.”

The easiest markets for buyers are likely to be in South Carolina and Virginia. These states are tax friendly, have strong economies, have more affordable houses on the market and fewer bidding wars.

Realtor.com’s List of Easiest Markets to Buy a Home

  • Cape Coral FL
  • Bridgeport CT
  • Charleston SC
  • Virginia Beach VA
  • Las Vegas NV
  • New York NY
  • Baton Rouge LA
  • Des Moines IO
  • Houston TX
  • Honolulu

Tech hubs and cities in the Northeast are considered to be the hardest cities in which to buy a home. These cities have higher housing prices, fewer homes on the markets, more competitive bidding wars and economies that, if growing at all, are likely to be flat or slipping compared to places in which it is easier to buy a home.

Realtor.com’s List of Hardest Markets to Buy a Home:

  • San Jose CA
  • Buffalo NY
  • Seattle WA
  • Milwaukee WI
  • Columbus OH
  • Salt Lake City UT
  • Boston MA
  • Harrisburg PA
  • Washington DC
  • Grand Rapids MI

To illustrate the difficulty of home buying, every four listings for every one thousand home on the market in San Jose have median listing prices just under $1.1M.

Thanks to HousingWire’s Julie Falcon for source data.

Also read: Nearly 50% of Homeowners Expected to Move This Decade – Will 50% of Those Moving Use Updater?, How Many Work Hours Needed to Pay Rent in 25 Largest US Cities?, Top Cities Across Generations