The latest numbers, provided by OJO Labs, hint at possible improvements in the ongoing inventory shortage.

Approximately half of homes in the U.S. continued to sell for more than their asking prices in July, according to a new analysis from real estate software firm OJO Labs, though there are some hints the inventory situation may be getting a little bit better.

The analysis shows that across the entire U.S., 49.6 percent of homes went for higher than their asking prices last month. That’s way up compared to the same time last year, when only 26.8 percent of homes sold above asking. However, it’s very slightly down from June of this year, when 50.4 percent of homes sold for more than their asking prices.

The report also reveals that homes sold for an average of $8,578.30 over asking in July. That’s down from $9,360.42 in June.

On average in July of 2020, homes in the U.S. were selling for an average of $6,821.43 under their asking prices. July 2020 was of course several months into the coronavirus pandemic, and at the time the housing market was beginning to take off again but had not yet exploded in the way it would over the ensuing months.

The report’s findings highlight the ongoing inventory shortage plaguing the U.S. housing market, which has led to brutal bidding wars and ever-rising prices.

However, the slight movement in the numbers also hints that some relief for buyers — and their agents — could be coming. The report also comes amid other findings that suggest bidding wars have begun to cool off and that significant inventory relief may arrive later this year.

For the time being though, buyers continue to face a competitive landscape, and the same day OJO Labs published its report the National Association of Realtors revealed that 94 percent of U.S. markets saw double-digit price growth in the second quarter of 2021.

In the case of OJO Labs, the company’s report identifies California’s Bay Area as the most competitive market in the U.S., with 76.4 percent of homes selling above their asking prices. Homes in that region also sold for an average of $110,892.05 above their asking price. That’s way up compared to 2020, when houses in the Bay Area only sold for an average of $12,855.85 above asking.

OJO Labs’ report was compiled using multiple listing service data and looked at metro areas where more than 1,000 homes sold in July.

Other highly competitive markets the report identified include Austin, where 65 percent of homes sold above their asking prices, and Seattle, at 57.7 percent.

New York City, the country’s largest metro area, was in the middle of the pack, with 49.8 percent of homes selling over asking in July. And in Los Angeles, it was 64.2 percent.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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