August 11, 2009 / 8:01 PM / 10 years ago

U.S. housing inventory data points to stabilization: ZipRealty

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. housing market is showing signs of stabilization, according to inventory data released on Tuesday by national real estate brokerage ZipRealty.

The number of homes listed for sale by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fell for the 13th consecutive month in July, the Emeryville, California-based ZipRealty reported.

Stabilization of the hard-hit U.S. housing market is seen as key to an economic recovery in the United States.

The combined total number of single-family homes and condos listed for sale decreased in July from June by 2.5 percent, bringing the total number of active listings in 28 major U.S. markets to 679,748, the company said.

The drop bodes well for the U.S. housing market, which has been plagued by a huge supply and demand imbalance amid mounting foreclosures. The disparity has been a key driver of decreasing home prices.

Additionally, ZipRealty tracked a year-over-year decrease in housing inventory of 28.5 percent.

ZipRealty’s Housing Inventory Index, compiled from local MLS data, for July showed key markets in California continue to experience significant decreases in home listings, with a month-over-month decrease of 5.3 percent in Los Angeles and a month-over-month decrease of 4.1 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area.

ZipRealty said Austin, Texas, had the largest decrease in inventory with a month-over-month decline of 10.5 percent and while most markets saw declining inventory, Baltimore added 1.3 percent more properties in July compared to June.

Housing inventory in Las Vegas declined 6.5 percent in July, with the number of MLS-listed homes at the lowest level ZipRealty has tracked in four years, the company said.

“Factors such as declining inventory and strong activity from buyers may be contributing to rising asking prices, with the median list price increasing nationally last month and agents in California reporting an increase in the number of homes receiving multiple offers in several markets,” the company said in a statement.

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