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For-sale inventory rises in January

ZipRealty: Monthly spike ends 18-month decline

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Monthly for-sale home inventory increased in January for the first time in 18 months, according to a report by national real estate brokerage company ZipRealty. The number of homes for sale increased 2.9 percent from December, an additional 15,818 homes, to a total of 567,265 single-family homes and condominiums listed in 27 metropolitan areas across the country. December saw 2009's greatest fall in month-to-month inventory, down 4.83 percent. Inventory in January was down 22.3 percent year-over year, however, with 163,131 fewer homes listed than in January 2009. "Inventory is starting to increase, but it's still really low. People typically wait for the spring market, but inventory is low and interest is high because of the tax credit, so there's an opportunity for people to put their house on the market before the spring, ahead of the competition," said Leslie Tyler, ZipRealty's vice president. Tyler attributed the month-to-month inventory rise to seasonality. "Last ...