Data from real-estate brokerage firm ZipRealty Inc. showed that the number of homes for sale declined by 3.8 percent in November in 26 major metropolitan areas, the Wall Street Journal reported. The information covers single-family homes, condos and townhouses for sale in cities where the Emeryville, Calif.-based firm operates. The inventory of homes was still 11.6 percent higher than November of last year, however.
The Boston; Austin, Texas; San Francisco and Seattle metropolitan areas showed the largest declines in inventory between October and November. Los Angeles marked its first decline in number of homes for sale all year. Only four of the metropolitan areas covered by ZipRealty’s data showed increases in homes listed for sale: Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; San Diego and Tucson, Ariz.
According to real estate research firm Zelman & Associates, housing inventories usually fall in November as the holiday season begins. Over the past 28 years, the inventory usually fell about 1.8 percent nationally. The larger-than-usual decline could be the result of homeowners removing their homes from the market for the time being in hopes that the market will improve next year, or of banks halting the sale of foreclosed homes in some states until paperwork issues are resolved, the report said.