Lack of Inventory Pushing Home Prices Higher

Washington, DC, Nov. 22, 2013 -- A low number of homes for sale is pushing home prices up to double-digit gains year-over-year, the National Association of Realtors said in its latest existing-homes report.

“Low inventory is holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“More new-home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains.”

In October, the national median existing-home price was $199,500 — a 12.8% surge above what it was a year ago. It also marks the 11th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases, NAR reports.

Meanwhile, housing inventories are falling, dropping 1.8% in October to 2.13 million existing homes for sale. That represents a 5-month supply at the current sales pace.

The median time on the market for all home types was 54 days in October, up from 50 days in September. In October 2012, the median time on the market was 71 days.