Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Home sales inventory falls to six-year low, asking prices up

According to Department of Numbers, the home sales inventory in the Denver area fell year over year in November for the 21st month in a row. The total single-family and condo inventory dropped to 12,388 during November, down 26.9 percent from November 2011's total of 16.967. November 2012's inventory total was the smallest total recorded since Department of Numbers began collecting inventory data in 2006. 

The first graph shows the total inventory for each month since April 2006. (Dept of Numbers data only goes back to 2006.) 

The second graph shows that year-over-year declines have been the norm since early 2011. In addition, the magnitude of the declines appear to have peaked during early 2012, and have lessened somewhat in recent months. Nevertheless, continued declines in the inventory are substantial. 

While the Dept. of Numbers data isn't the most detailed in the world, it does offer additional corroboration to numerous claims by Realtor organizations that inventory is collapsing. This appears to be true, and also appears to be the case in national numbers, such as found in the inventory data put out by NAR last month.  

Meanwhile, as you'd expect in a time of declining inventory, the median asking price has headed upward, and has increased year over year for the past 16 months in a row.  During November, the asking price was up 7.5 percent year over year, increasing from $278,200 to $299,300.