Many regional housing markets are posting more inventory volumes than they have in recent years. Still, it’s not home-buying season everywhere just yet. According to data, some markets are still experiencing tight inventories. Accompanying tight inventories are the associated bidding wars and rising home prices that come along with them.

Director of Economic Research at, Javier Vivas, says “Competition [for homes] has virtually doubled over the past five years.”

Vivas and his team analyzed housing inventory volumes in the nation’s 50 largest metro areas. The study aimed to identify locales where available inventory has fallen most since 2015.

The three cities with the tightest housing inventories in the country:
  1. Sacramento, California
    Median list price: $453,000, with 55.1 percent less inventory on the market now than 2015.
  2. Charlotte, North Carolina
    Median list price: $334,600, with 52.2 percent less inventory now than 2015.
  3. Indianapolis, Indiana
    Median list price: $260,000, with 49.6 percent less inventory now than 2015.

Readers should note the research team only listed the top city in each state for these rankings. This means other cities may rank between Sacramento and Charlotte that did not make the list if they are located in California.

The Trend

Vivas noted of the 50 cities in the study, “39 saw a decrease in inventory over the past three years. Buyers have the least amount of options they’ve ever seen before.”

In Sacramento in particular, that issue is unlikely to change in the short term due to new additions to inventory. reported nearly one in every 10 listings on the website is a new home, but in Sacramento, fewer than two in every 100 homes are new builds.

According to local appraiser Ryan Lundquist, skilled construction labor is lacking. “And it is really expensive to build in California,” he added.

Categories | Article | Market & Trends
  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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