In February, the total number of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops for sale in the U.S. (1,494,218) increased by 1.15 percent month-over-month. On an annual basis, however, inventory was down by 15.97 percent.
The median age of inventory of for sale listings fell to 98 days in February, down 9.26 percent from January and 11.71 percent below the median age one year ago (February 2012).
Nearly all of the markets with the largest year-over-year declines in their for sale inventories in February were in California, where declines averaged 48 percent. The list includes Sacramento, Stockton, Oakland, San Jose, Orange County, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Riverside and Ventura. These markets also experienced a dramatic decline in the median age of inventory, falling to an average of just 31 days, or 53 percent lower than it was one year ago.
Note: Realtor.com reports the average number of listings in a month, whereas the NAR uses an end-of-month estimate. Since inventory usually starts to come back on the market early in the year, the NAR will probably report a larger month-to-month increase in inventory for February than Realtor.com.
Inventory decreased year-over-year in 141 of the 146 markets realtor.com tracks, and by more than 20% year-over-year in 43 markets.
The NAR is scheduled to report February existing home sales and inventory on Thursday, March 21st.