Movoto Analysis: Housing Levels Continue to Fall, Ignore Seasonal Trends

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Inventory levels dropped on a year-over-year basis in February. Baltimore bucked housing trends, added housing stock.

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Hopefully, the market will rebound in time for spring when the majority of buyers are looking to purchase.

According to a Movoto analysis, inventory levels dropped by 20.2 percent across the 34 major cities the company tracks.

At the end of February there were only 92,416 homes on the market, according to the Multiple Listing Services Movoto tracks. In February 2012 there were 115,757 homes available.

Additionally, data showed a slight drop in inventory levels on a month-over-month basis. In January there were 92,833 homes on the market.

The typical real estate cycle has inventory decrease in December and then increase at the beginning of the year in preparation for the spring buying season. The drop in inventory on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis indicates the market is trending toward sellers.

“With fewer homes on the market home buyers are competing more,” said Mark Brandemuehl, Movoto’s VP of Marketing. “Hopefully, the market will rebound in time for spring when the majority of buyers are looking to purchase.”

The three cities that saw the greatest decrease in inventory were San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. In the past year, Baltimore saw the greatest increase in inventory.

In response to the inventory decrease, the price per square foot for homes increased. According to Movoto’s median price per square foot index, in the past 12 months the price per square foot for homes increased from $155 to $174, or 12.4 percent.

Cities that saw the greatest increase in price per square foot were Sacramento, Phoenix, and Oakland. The analysis showed Cleveland was the least expensive city in which to purchase a home.

Movoto Real Estate’s State of the Market analysis examines 34 geographically diverse cities throughout the country, and uses data collected through various Multiple Listing Services.

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About Movoto
Movoto Real Estate launched in March 2006, providing innovative, easy-to-use research tools with ready access to a network of experienced local real estate agents. was the first real estate website to bring a map front-and-center into the home search experience right on its homepage. Movoto now offers its free services in over 30 states. In 2011, Movoto was named #13 on the Inc. list of fastest growing private real estate companies.

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