The number of for-sale real estate listings continued to drop on an annual basis

Editor’s note: These numbers come from’s July 2012 Real Estate Trend Data Report. The report covers 146 U.S. metros and includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops.

The number of for-sale real estate listings continued to drop on an annual basis in July, falling 19.3 percent from July 2011 to a total of 1.87 million listings nationwide, according to data through July 2012. This trend, along with a 2.6 percent year-over-year median list price increase last month to $194,900, points to some stability in the nascent housing recovery that’s slowly settled in this year.

The nationwide median age of inventory, down 9.3 percent from a year ago, climbed four days from June to 88 days, mirroring previous years’ trends of increases toward the end of the spring buying season.

Data point Percent change, July 2011 to July 2012 July 2012 value
Number of listings -19.3% 1.87 million
Median age of inventory (days) -9.3% 88
Median list price +2.6% $194,900


Though the nationwide median list price dipped slightly in July to $194,900 from June’s $195,000 (a 2012 high), its monthly value has held fairly steady for the last two years after sliding precipitously from a high of $250,000 in 2007, when first started keeping track.

July’s data, like June’s, further solidifies a geographical recovery trend. The inventory drop and simultaneous median list price jump that occurred in Florida during the last half of 2011 has shifted to California (and Seattle and Atlanta) in the first half of this year. These areas account for eight of the 10 metros to see the sharpest year-over-year inventory drops (by percentage) last month.

Metros with greatest year-over-year inventory reductions (July 2011 to July 2012) Percent change
Oakland, Calif. -59.3%
Fresno, Calif. -47.8%
Bakersfield, Calif. -44.7%
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. -42.2%
San Jose, Calif. -41.8%
San Francisco -40.3%
Stockton-Lodi, Calif. -40.2%
Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. -40%
Atlanta -38.3%
Sacramento, Calif. -36.4%


Oakland, Calif., for the fifth month in a row, has the lowest for-sale inventory of any of the 146 metros tracks with 3,280 listings and a minuscule median age of inventory of 22.

View of downtown Oakland, Calif., from Lake Merritt via Shutterstock.

Oakland’s big Bay Area cousin, San Francisco (along with San Jose, Calif., and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash., metros), scored a housing recovery trifecta in July, climbing to No. 6 on the list of metros with the greatest year-over-year drop (-40.3 percent) in inventory, No. 5 among the metros with the greatest year-over-year median list price increases (15 percent) and No. 6 among metros with properties with the shortest median age of inventory (46 days) on the market.

Metros with greatest year-over-year list price increases (July 2011 to July 2012) Percent change
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif. 31.5%
Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. 27.7%
Boise City, Idaho 16.8%
San Francisco 15%
San Jose, Calif. 13.8%
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. 13.5%
Reno, Nev. 13.1%
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. 12.6%
Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.(D.C.) 12.2%
Fresno, Calif. 10.9%


Oakland, San Jose, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, and San Francisco were also named Top 10 Turnaround Towns in’s second-quarter report at No. 2, No. 5, No. 6 and No. 8, respectively.

Metros with shortest median age of inventory (July 2012) Days
Oakland, Calif. 22
Denver 36
Fresno, Calif. 42
Bakersfield, Calif. 43
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. 45
San Francisco 46
San Jose, Calif. 47
Anchorage, Alaska 48
Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. 49
Detroit 50


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