To the joy of prospective buyers, home inventories are finally starting to grow around the country.  

U.S. home inventories increased 1.2 percent from a year ago, according to a recent report from Zillow Research.

“January marked the reversal of a longstanding trend in the housing market,” Zillow wrote. “A modest annual gain in for-sale inventory last month means that for the first time in at least a half decade, the U.S. housing market began the calendar year with more homes available for sale than the year prior.”

In January, there were a bit more than 1.6 million U.S. homes listed for sale on Zillow, up 1.2 percent from a year ago, according to the January Zillow Real Estate Market Report. The report also noted that it was the first annual gain recorded in January since prior to 2014.

Starting back in January 2015, for-sale home inventories dropped for 44 months before a slow uptick began in September 2018. While it’s growing, the 1.61 million homes for sale in January are well below peak levels in July 2014 when the market featured more than 2 million homes.

The largest recent inventory increases were concentrated in highly-popular West Coast markets, Zillow found. On an annual basis, January inventories grew in: San Jose by 42.9 percent; Seattle by 36.9 percent; San Deigo by 31.9 percent; Los Angeles by 29.1 percent; and San Francisco by 25 percent.

While buyers may be pleased with inventory growth, the uptick hasn’t cooled home value appreciation around the United States. The median U.S. home value in January was $225,300 — up 7.5 percent year-over-year, according to Zillow. In general, annual U.S. home value growth has remained in the seven percent range over the past two years, the report added.

Check out Zillow’s graph below for more on growing home inventories.

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  • Bobby Burch

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