Housing Inventory Decreases

 The number of homes for sale declined 2.4 percent in November in the metropolitan areas covered by ZipRealty Inc. In the last 25 years, the decline in November has averaged 1.8 percent.

The data doesn’t include New York, but Miller Samuel Inc., an appraisal firm, reports that inventory was down 7.1 percent from the end of October and down 18 percent compared to November 2008.

October was the first month since January to show a rise in bank-owned homes. The number of bank-owned properties declined over the summer because of efforts to prevent foreclosures. As time runs out for many families, the number of foreclosures is increasing.

As of the end of October, banks and mortgage investors had 639,000 foreclosed homes for sale across the U.S., Barclays Capital estimates. “We expect a rebound in distressed inventory in the coming months,” says Glenn Boyd, a senior analyst at Barclays.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (12/09/2009)

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