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Metros Seeing the Biggest Jumps in Home Inventory

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Housing Markets

Metros Seeing the Biggest Jumps in Home Inventory

While inventory levels are still down compared with historical data, it's reassuring to see recent inventory increases indicating a more positive trend

January 25, 2024
Aerial view of Cape Coral, Florida, homes on the water
Image: Nikola Zivic / stock.adobe.com

In addition to rising inflation and high mortgage rates, tight home inventory has been a source of frustration for homebuyers and a contributing factor in rising home prices. But, according to a new report from real estate listings website Realtor.com that looks at recent changes in housing inventory levels, things may be looking up.

The report found that the number of homes for sale in December 2023 increased by 4.9% compared with December the previous year. In particular, the number of new home sellers entering the market this past December saw a sharp uptick compared with a year earlier, rising by 9.1%. But it’s also worth noting that, even with those increases, that still only get us about halfway to where inventory levels were prior to 2020.

And, of course, inventory varies by city, state, and region, with some markets exhibiting far greater increases than others, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., being a perfect example, with a 99.3% inventory increase and median listing price of $475,415.

The South saw the most substantial growth in housing: In December 2023, inventory was up 7.7% year over year in the region.

The upswing was particularly high in Florida, which led all other states with a nearly 27% increase in year-over-year active listings. Louisiana and Mississippi claimed the second and third spots, respectively.

The South has enjoyed a more dynamic market compared with other regions due to its lower-than-average prices, an abundance of new construction, and more favorable economic and lifestyle conditions attracting new residents to the area. Yet after meteoric rises in home prices and demand, many Southern markets faltered in response to the shock of high mortgage rates.

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