Number of US homes for sale rises

For sale signs are now a more common site in the USA Photo: Images_of_Money

New figures from US portal Zillow show that the inventory of all for-sale homes listed nationwide spiked in May, jumping 11.8 percent year-over-year and 4.3 percent from April. Inventory of all homes for sale has risen in each of the past three months, according to the May Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, a turnaround welcomed after almost two years of falling supply.

“It’s good to see overall inventory rising,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.

“It’s likely that many would-be sellers have decided to capitalize on recent home value gains, particularly as the pace slows, and list their home for sale now in order to move into a new home while mortgage interest rates remain low.”

But most of those gains in inventory were made among homes priced in the middle and top one-third of home values. The number of homes available for sale in the most affordable price bracket, those homes most sought by first-time and lower-income home buyers, fell year-over-year in 28 of the nation’s largest metro areas analyzed by Zillow.

“Persistent inventory constraints at the low end of the market continue to make it a tough environment for first-time and lower-income home buyers. Low inventory and high demand can lead to rapid price spikes, which make homes even more difficult to afford for many buyers,” Humphries said. “Hopefully the inventory gains we’re seeing in the middle and upper tiers of the market will begin trickling down to the most affordable homes soon.”