Inventories of homes for sale were down 9.6 percent from a year ago at the end of September as sellers cut asking prices on nearly half of listings in the 29 major metro areas ZipRealty monitors, the company said.

At the close of the third quarter, the markets with the biggest annual declines in inventory were Orange County (-28.9 percent), Las Vegas (-23.7 percent) and Denver (-22.2 percent).

Inventories of homes for sale were down 9.6 percent from a year ago at the end of September, as sellers cut asking prices on nearly half of listings in the 29 major metro areas ZipRealty monitors, the company said.

At the close of the third quarter, the markets with the biggest annual declines in inventory were Orange County (-28.9 percent), Las Vegas (-23.7 percent) and Denver (-22.2 percent).

ZipRealty reports that during the same period, inventories ballooned by 13.2 percent in Salt Lake City, 8.8 percent in Seattle, and 7 percent in Austin.

Across all 29 markets, by the end of September more than 45 percent of listings had seen at least one price reduction, compared with 41 percent at the end of June.

The percentage of listings with reduced prices was highest in Tucson (49.1 percent), Orange County (49 percent), and Las Vegas, Boston and Orlando (all 48.9 percent).

The real estate and data analytics firm Radar Logic Inc. today reported that "motivated sales" by banks seeking liquidity, foreclosure service firms, and foreclosure auction sales account for a greater percentage of sales than a year ago in all 25 markets it tracks.

Price reductions on motivated sales are one factor in an 18 percent annual decline in prices in those markets, about half of which saw sales pick up from July to August, Radar Logic said (see story).

ZipRealty reports that both buyers and sellers remain bearish about housing prices. A survey of nearly 4,000 registered ZipRealty.com users between Sept. 17 and Oct. 13 found nearly 61 percent of buyers and 40 percent of sellers anticipating declines in the next six months — an outlook that’s relatively unchanged for 15 months.

Expectations of price declines depended heavily on the market. Some 83 percent of buyers in Los Angeles and California’s San Fernando Valley were expecting further price decreases, compared with 37 percent in Houston.

Recent surveys by Realogy Corp. and Zillow showed that the current economic environment has 27 percent of homeowners putting off plans to purchase a home, but that 61 percent expect their own home’s value will hold steady or grow in the next six months (see story).

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