by Calculated Risk on 9/20/2021 11:26:00 AM
Tracking existing home inventory will be very important this year.
This inventory graph is courtesy of Altos Research.
As of September 17th, inventory was at 436 thousand (7 day average), compared to 573 thousand for the same week a year ago. That is a decline of 23.8%.
Compared to the same week in 2019, inventory is down 55%.
A week ago, inventory was at 431 thousand, and was down 25.5% YoY. Two weeks ago inventory was at 437 thousand (the peak for the year so far).
Seasonally, inventory has bottomed, but may be peaking for the year. Inventory was about 42.4% above the record low in early April.
A couple of interesting points from 2019: In 2019, inventory bottomed at 814 thousand in February (so inventory is still very low compared to normal levels). And, in 2019, inventory peaked at 972 thousand in early August (an increase of 158 thousand, or about 19% from the low). So inventory is less than half of what we’d normally expect, however inventory has increased 130 thousand (almost normal).
Key question: Usually inventory peaks in the Summer, and then declines into the Fall. Will inventory follow the normal seasonal pattern, or will inventory continue to increase over the coming months? This will be important to watch for house prices and housing activity.
Mike Simonsen discusses this data regularly on Youtube.
Altos Research has also seen a significant pickup in price decreases – now well above the level of a year ago – but still below a normal rate for August.