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Number of homes for sale finally starts to climb

Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 9:06:15 AM

The challenges many homebuyers - even those with access to affordable residential financing - have faced over the past several years has been attributed to a lack of homes for sale. A declining inventory has driven up competition, priced some people out of the market and encouraged more owners to stay put, all creating a loop of tough housing market conditions.

However, this has begun to change. According to Zillow, the number of homes for sale has finally started to climb. In May, inventory ticked up 11.8 percent on a yearly basis and increased 4.3 percent compared to April. This marks the third month in a row with gains.

"It's good to see overall inventory rising," said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. "It's likely that many would-be sellers have decided to capitalize on recent home value gains, particularly as the pace slows, and list their home for sale now in order to move into a new home while mortgage interest rates remain low."

In addition, Fannie Mae recently reported mixed signs coming from the housing market. Moderate improvement was felt over the first quarter in 2014, and total home sales for the year are predicted to come in just a little bit below 2013's levels.

Even so, Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan is confident that economic activity will pick up over the remainder of 2014.