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When Will Housing Inventory Stop Falling?

by Reno Manuele

Housing inventory has fallen at a precipitous rate, but could relief finally be approaching? New research from Zillow suggests it just might.

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There are currently two universally acknowledged truths about the U.S. housing market – one, that the market on a whole has improved dramatically in the last year, after bottoming in the latter wintry months of 2012; and two, that the housing inventory of for-sale properties has plummeted.

Numerous reasons, from the preponderance of underwater homeowners to patient sellers anticipating greater price increases, have contributed to the decline in housing inventory, and in some housing markets, the decline has been so dramatic as to incite a seller’s market – a phrase that was all but unimaginable a year ago.

Housing Inventory in 2013

But after months of ceaseless housing inventory declines, could the inventory situation finally be improving? According to new research from Zillow, that could be the case later this year. Though housing inventory declines persisted in February, Zillow predicts that rising home prices (they rose nearly 10 percent in January) will lift more homeowners out of negative equity, who in turn may decide to list their homes on the marketplace.

As we wait for that joyous occasion, though, we have an infographic below that chronicles just how far housing inventory fell in February, along with how our city’s inventory levels compare with those of other major housing markets.

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