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Median list price and inventory levels vary by region – report

List prices and inventory of various markets

Although we reported today that nationally, real estate listing prices are up and inventory is down, not all 146 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) studied by Realtor.com had similar results. In recent months, a rising number of markets have seen increases in median list prices while fewer are experiencing price declines.

According to Realtor.com, “Florida markets, which were among the hardest hit markets when the housing market began its decline, appear to be moving towards stability with significantly reduced inventories and higher median list prices. However, other areas that were part of the original epicenter of the housing downturn — including Las Vegas and many parts of California — are still experiencing declines in median list prices, indicating a bottom has most likely not been reached. In addition, markets that never experienced the dramatic run-up in median list prices that preceded the housing crisis — for example, Chicago — are now registering some of the largest declines in median list prices.”

Plummeting inventory levels

Inventory levels dropped from September 2010 to September 2011 in 98.6 percent of the MSAs studied, and in 44.5 percent of all markets, inventory levels dropped at least 20 percent. Florida, Idaho and Arizona saw the largest inventory drops with Miami dipping by nearly half, Phoenix by 47.5 percent, Orlando by 45.6 percent, Fort Myers-Cape Coral by 42.2 percent, Boise City by 40.4 percent and Fort Lauderdale dropping 38.5 percent. Inventory levels had the lowest levels of declines in Austin-San Marcos with only a 7 percent dip, which is interesting given that Austin is typically named among the best performing cities in most categories.

Median list prices are relatively stagnant, but Realtor.com reports that they were up by at least one percent in half of the MSAs monitored, and up by five percent in roughly a quarter of the markets. Median list prices were down in 39 of 146 markets, however, and 14 markets saw median list prices dip more than five percent. Realtor.com said, “These statistics represent a steady improvement over those reported in the previous months, suggesting a gradual year-over-year improvement in median list prices in the majority of markets monitored by Realtor.com.”

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Median list price – top performers

These five markets experienced the largest year over year increase of median list prices:

  1. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL – 34.46%
  2. Miami, FL – 25.63%
  3. Naples, FL – 23.41%
  4. Sarasota-Bradenton, FL – 16.53%
  5. Punta Gorda, FL – 14.07%

Median list price – worst performers

These five markets experienced the biggest decline in median list prices between September 2010 and September 2011:

  1. Chicago, IL, -11.56%
  2. Las Vegas, NV, -11.05%
  3. Detroit, MI, -10.01%
  4. Ventura, CA, -9.09%
  5. Atlanta, GA, -8.63%

Median age of inventory

The median age of inventory reportedly exceeded 120 days in nearly 20 percent of studied markets. Realtor.com notes that in previous months, most of these markets were in resort areas such as Florida and the Carolinas, but in September, several non-resort areas joined the list of aged inventory markets. Reading, PA has a median age of inventory sitting at 147 days, Santa Fe is at 136 days, Mobile, AL with 129 days, Knoxville with 126 days and Chicago’s median age of inventory at 120 days. The top performers were Fresno, CA (59 days), Oakland, CA (49 days), and Denver, CO (46 days).

Each market is different, but overall, median list prices are up and inventories are down, with age of inventory remaining a problem in several markets.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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