December 2023

The active listings by metro market may surprise you

CBSA NameAugust 2023 Active ListingsAugust 2022 Active ListingsYear-Over-Year Change in Active ListingsYear-Over-Year Change in Median Listing PriceYear-Over-Year Change in Median Days On Market
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA32,79840,186-18.4%10.3%9.3%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL22,48822,4650.1%-0.7%26.5%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX20,11020,118-0.0%-2.0%10.5%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX16,92916,5292.4%0.4%20.3%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA14,50516,824-13.8%1.2%14.1%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI14,42619,915-27.6%10.0%-1.4%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA10,50315,038-30.2%22.4%1.2%
Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ8,70016,378-46.9%7.6%22.3%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL8,6919,632-9.8%1.1%19.2%
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX8,6118,2244.7%-1.2%38.0%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD8,55510,780-20.6%3.1%2.3%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX8,5397,21318.4%-1.6%31.2%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA7,61410,886-30.1%-1.8%5.7%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV7,47510,730-30.3%-2.8%10.3%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI7,4489,869-24.5%0.0%12.5%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV7,16610,397-31.1%7.9%-1.4%
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN6,8346,07012.6%9.1%42.3%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL6,7027,350-8.8%1.3%16.5%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI6,2757,057-11.1%7.8%0.0%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO5,8826,472-9.1%3.7%13.1%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA5,5035,815-5.4%8.1%12.3%
Jacksonville, FL4,9615,149-3.7%1.8%21.0%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH4,5305,758-21.3%16.4%7.2%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA4,5046,964-35.3%3.2%-1.5%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC4,4005,434-19.0%1.1%5.6%
St. Louis, MO-IL4,3934,692-6.4%2.7%0.0%
New Orleans-Metairie, LA4,2883,31829.2%1.7%30.6%
San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA4,0935,969-31.4%0.6%-7.0%
Kansas City, MO-KS4,0204,193-4.1%12.3%8.7%
Pittsburgh, PA3,8314,280-10.5%7.5%10.3%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC3,6943,737-1.2%9.6%-6.2%
Oklahoma City, OK3,6053,3467.7%6.7%7.5%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD3,4904,651-24.9%7.8%2.8%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN3,4153,4050.3%8.0%1.4%
Memphis, TN-MS-AR2,8862,20730.7%2.5%21.1%
Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA2,8854,756-39.3%9.4%-3.9%
Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI2,8393,590-20.9%6.0%-7.9%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL2,7412,48110.5%4.0%20.5%
Raleigh-Cary, NC2,6673,171-15.9%-4.6%33.3%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH2,5833,406-24.2%11.1%0.0%
San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA2,4884,492-44.6%22.6%-7.0%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN2,4252,606-6.9%16.3%6.8%
Columbus, OH2,4092,663-9.5%14.6%-3.7%
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN1,8372,125-13.5%7.5%3.3%
Richmond, VA1,6941,800-5.9%13.5%2.0%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA1,4802,018-26.6%15.8%-7.7%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY1,0641,278-16.8%6.0%8.5%
Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT1,0431,461-28.6%7.0%15.9%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,0311,797-42.6%6.3%-27.4%
Rochester, NY8941,010-11.5%11.1%-29.5%

It certainly feels like volatility in the housing market has accelerated over these past few years. Home inventories are no exception. Recent changes in year-over-year (YoY) active listings help to confirm this impression.

Setting the stage

In our June 2023 MonthlyInsights® newsletter, we reported that the national YoY change in active inventory through February 2023 was up 67.2% — from 346,141 listings in February 2022 to 578,627 listings a year later.Footnote2 More recently, however, YoY changes in the national active inventory rate actually fell by 7.9%, and listings were down from 726,353 in August 2022 to 669,173 in August 2023.Footnote1

While YoY comparisons do help to smooth out some of the variations in data, they can also be tricky to understand. Our YoY data, for instance, reflects seasonal swings, with the summer market much more active than the dead of winter. That's why February's 578,627 listings can be a YoY increase, while August's 669,173 listings can be a YoY decrease. In addition to seasonality, the rapid shifts in YoY listings also reflect irregular changes in supply and demand.

Through the first half of 2023, YoY active inventories increased. By July, they reversed course. This transition was largely affected by market fluctuations in 2022. At the beginning of the year, inventories were seriously down because interest rates were still historically low. This was the last phase of the low-interest buying frenzy.

By summer of 2022, interest rates were rising rapidly, as were housing inventories. Potential sellers who had hesitated finally put their homes on the market to cash in on their increased equity. But many buyers simultaneously backed off on their housing pursuits due to the double whammy of higher home prices coupled with rising interest rates.

CBSAs as telling indicators

In this article, we're viewing home inventories through the lens of core-based statistical areas (CBSAs). These CBSAs consist of a primary city and its surrounding smaller urban areas, towns, suburbs and exurbs.

In both the graph and the table, we're representing the country's 50 largest CBSAs by population in August 2023, but the rankings are listed from the largest number of active inventories to the least. The bar graph compares the top 15 CBSAs to their listings a year earlier in August 2022. Two-thirds of these CBSAs experienced a YoY decline in their home inventories through August 2023.Footnote1

Here are their YoY changes in listings from August 2022 to August 2023:

CBSA (abbreviated by primary urban center)

  • New York (– 18.4%)
  • Miami (+ 0.1%)
  • Houston (0.0%)
  • Dallas (+ 2.4%)
  • Atlanta (– 13.8%)
  • Chicago (– 27.6%)
  • Los Angeles (– 30.2%)
  • Phoenix (– 46.9%)
  • Tampa (– 9.8%)
  • Austin (+ 4.7%)
  • Philadelphia (– 20.6%)
  • San Antonio (+ 18.4%)
  • Riverside-San Bernadino (– 30.1%)
  • Las Vegas (– 30.3%)
  • Detroit (– 24.5%)Footnote1

From this short list, it's important to note that only one of the CBSAs that gained in YoY inventory, San Antonio, had a significant increase. To this point, from the table of 50 CBSAs, only five had a YoY inventory increase of at least 10%. This is in stark contrast to the 19 CBSAs with YoY listing declines of 20% or more!Footnote1

The impact of fluctuating inventories

Responding to the recent YoY active inventory declines, Hannah Jones, an economic research analyst with Realtor.com, offered this assessment: “Either buyer demand is outpacing listing activity, or new listing activity is so low that it’s eating into the active inventory.”Footnote3 Depending on the metro market, both observations appear to be true.

Many of the same factors we've discussed in previous macroeconomic reports are influencing active inventory volumes in evolving ways. There are fewer homes on the market because potential sellers are fearful of trading in their historically low mortgage rates. Builders cannot keep pace with pent-up demand. A good number of eager buyers are on hold, awaiting new market opportunities. While many others, unfortunately, have been priced out of the housing market completely.

Yet, a segment of buyers is actively looking — mostly millennials in high-paying professions or older generations with significant cash or equity in their homes.

With YoY August 2023 inventories declining, higher interest rates and a national median home listing price of $435,450, it's difficult to find a silver lining. Even so, the YoY data from February 2023, with 67.2% of active inventories increasing,Footnote2 shows how quickly the market can change.

1 Source: Realtor.com® Economic Research. Data dates: August 2022 to August 2023, Data Pulled: 09/6/2023.

2 Active listings are coming back to life, Bank of America Monthly Insights®, Alex Brouwer and Richard Schneider, June 2023. Accessed: August 2023

3 Where Are All the Homes? See the 10 Cities With the Largest Jump in Listings—and 10 With the Biggest Drop, Realtor.com, Evan Wyloge, August 15, 2023. Accessed August 2023.


MAP5979022 | 10/2023

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