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Index of California's housing inventory rises but remains tight

September 16, 2013|By Andrew Khouri
  • A file photo shows homes for sale in Menifee in Riverside County.
A file photo shows homes for sale in Menifee in Riverside County. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

A measure of the supply of California houses for sale expanded slightly in August from the month before, although inventory levels remain very tight, according to a new report.

If sales continued at their August pace, the supply of existing single-family homes last month would last 3.1 months, the California Assn. of Realtors said Monday. That’s up from 2.9 months in July but down from 3.2 months last year.

The number of listings has been rising steadily in recent months and “has reached the highest level since mid-2012,” said the Realtor group’s chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

Quiz: Test your knowledge of California's economy

“As housing supply loosens up with the seasonal slowdown, annual home price increases are expected to taper, as we’ve observed in the last two months,” she said in a statement.

Listings have expanded, as would-be sellers have become enticed by rising prices. But the supply of homes for sale remains extremely low, an indication sellers may still wield the upper hand in negotiations.

A supply of six months is considered normal.

In the Los Angeles metro region there was a 3.1 months’ supply of existing single-family homes for sale last month, up from three months in July. The level of unsold inventory remained below August 2012's 3.3 months’ supply.

The Realtor association also reported the state’s median price for an existing single-family home was $441,330 in August, up 1.7% from July and 28.4% from a year earlier.

The number of sales, seasonally adjusted, were down 2% from July and from a year earlier.

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