Hat tip to DB for sending this in from businessinsider.com:

More and more people are jumping on this bandwagon about the housing market finding some floor, a topic we’ve covered a lot.

Citi’s Josh Levin writes:

The Most Interesting Thing You May Not Know About the Housing Market — Amidst the continuous stream of housing data points and housing headlines, we think one has been overlooked: the inventory of existing homes for sale has been declining on a y/y basis for the past eight months and now stands at a multi-year low.

According the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in September there were 3.48 million homes listed for sale. Although it is still high when considered over the long-term, September’s 3.48 million homes marks the lowest inventory of homes for sale in the month of September since September of 2005.

Given the seasonality associated with home sales and the fact that the NAR does not seasonally adjust its inventory figures, investors should focus on y/y changes when thinking about housing inventory.

Even then, we would note that over the past five years, only four months showed a lower inventory of home for sales than September of 2011 and each of those months was either December or January, the low points in the year for home sales activity and inventory listings.

Interestingly, we have had no discussions with investors about this topic and have seen almost no media coverage of it.

It’s worth noting that the homebuilder ETF — XHB — is up over 31% since early October (it’s currently at 16.02 up from an October 3 bottom of 12.21), so while most media isn’t covering it, the market has picked it up.



The mainstream media won’t know what to make of those numbers, but I’ll give my opinion.  It helps show that there is demand for well-priced homes, and virtually all of those have sold.

This is the time of year when we’re looking at the OPT leftovers – the ones that didn’t sell during the regular selling season, and whose owners are still reluctant to lower the price.

The fact that inventory is down is probably a result of the combination of fewer elective sellers in general, distressed sellers getting their price right, and OPTs cancelling their listings well before the holidays.

In SD County today there are 10,408 detached and attached active listings, which is among the lower counts – this needs to be updated, but a historical look:

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