A local real estate agent can answer questions, give guidance, and schedule home tours.
By proceeding, you consent to receive calls and texts at the number you provided, including marketing by autodialer and prerecorded and artificial voice, and email, from Realtor.com and othersPersons who may contact you include real estate professionals such as agents and brokers, mortgage professionals such as lenders and mortgage brokers, realtor.com and its affiliates, insurers or their agents, and those who may be assisting any of the foregoing. about your inquiry and other home-related matters, but not as a condition of any purchase.
To connect right away, call (855) 650-5492
Of all the housing market bugaboos that haunt and frustrate wannabe buyers in this stressed, prime-time selling season of 2023 (Sky-high prices! Rising mortgage rates! Inflation and economic uncertainty!), one challenge still sits at the center of everything: finding a good home to purchase.
America’s been in a severe housing shortage since at least the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it affects just about all else. A shortage of inventory leads to frenzied bidding wars, out-of-reach price tags, and market paralysis.
But the situation is changing, at least in some markets. And Realtor.com® decided to find out where. When it comes to home inventory levels in America, it’s both the best of times and the worst of times—it all depends on where you live.
To gain some insight into where things stand going into the crucial summer season, the data team at Realtor.com crunched the numbers to determine the metropolitan areas with the largest increases—and most substantial decreases—in available home inventory.
You can see for yourself in the table below the change in housing inventory in the 100 largest metros.
So what did we find? Well, across the country, inventory is up year over year, by a little more than 20%. But this is largely a function of the incredibly low inventory levels of the past couple of years. There aren’t more sellers coming onto the market. Instead, homes are sitting longer. And even the current bump in year-over-year inventory still puts this year below pre-pandemic levels. Nationally, the number of new listings was down 22.7% in May compared with the previous year
And the data underscores a truth that has become increasingly evident: There’s no single, monolithic housing market. Instead, real estate has become a tapestry of regional markets, each with unique patterns.
In certain regions, particularly in the more affordable pockets of the Midwest and Northeast, inventory remains tight. Despite higher mortgage rates casting a shadow over buyers and sellers alike, homes are selling at a brisk pace, prices continue to rise, and inventory remains relatively low compared with previous years.
Compare that to the West and South, where hot markets like Austin, TX, Nashville, TN, and Sarasota, FL, have seen inventory more than double compared with this time last year. These pandemic-era boomtowns have been on a roller coaster when it comes to pricing, inventory, and demand.
Nick Libert, a real estate agent with EXIT Strategy Realty in Chicago, calls this a “balanced-stagnant market.”
Elevated rates have put the brakes on the overall housing market activity, from the perspective of buyers and sellers, but a bridled demand is still very much present.
“Not a lot of people are moving,” Libert says. “Part of the reason is there’s very little to look at.”
So let’s take a look at the biggest markets to see what’s what in different parts of the country.
We found where inventory is up and down the most in the 100 largest U.S. metros by going through the Realtor.com monthly housing market data to compare inventory in May 2023 with May 2022. We selected just one per state to ensure geographic diversity. (Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas.)
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: +128.1%
May 2023 median list price: $549,900
What a difference a year makes.
Located on the southwestern coast of Florida, known for picturesque white-sand beaches and barrier islands along its Gulf of Mexico shoreline, the Sarasota metro experienced the biggest year-over-year jump in inventory. There were nearly 2.3 times the number of active listings, at just shy of 4,600, this May compared with last.
Unsurprisingly, homes are sitting on the market almost twice as long, now taking about 7.5 weeks to sell.
This midsized metro, which serves as the spring training destination for the Baltimore Orioles, is relatively expensive compared with much of Florida. Median list prices are about 9% above the median state price—only Miami is priced higher.
Carissa Pelczynski, a real estate agent at Preferred Shore in Sarasota, says the attitude of many of the out-of-town buyers who were driving prices up during the pandemic has shifted in the past several months.
“People are just more hesitant now," Pelczynski says.
Also adding to the inventory glut, according to Pelcynski: Too many sellers are pricing their homes as if the market were still as hot as it was a year or two ago. (It's not.)
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: +124.7%
May 2023 median list price: $580,000
Music City is the next stop on our list, with a jump in inventory almost as large as Sarasota's. This icon of the South is home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, and it's an increasingly popular destination for buyers.
What’s especially notable about Nashville right now is that even as inventory is more than double what it was this time last year, in May the price per square foot hit an all-time high. It surpassed the previous high mark in June 2022.
Homes in Nashville are generally larger than average, with a median size of almost 2,200 square feet. It’s also about 15% more expensive than the national median price per square foot.
A recently listed, 500-square-foot condo just southeast of downtown Nashville and within walking distance of the Cumberland River is around $515,000.This newly constructed, four-bedroom townhome is on the market for about $600,000.
Watch: The Best Cities in the U.S. for Home Sellers Right Now
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: +112.5%
May 2023 median list price: $583,751
It seems no list of real estate superlatives is complete without Austin. The Lone Star State’s capital city had become one of the hottest markets in the country during the pandemic, with demand—and as a result, prices—exploding. Builders raced to put up homes in the area.
But when mortgage rates rose in 2022, the Austin market was one that cooled the most, with list prices falling 15% from May 2022 to January of this year. Since then, prices have been creeping back up, now at 9% below last year’s peak.
Even as prices are back on the rise, the typical Austin home is on the market for eight long weeks before selling, compared with just two weeks during the spring 2022 pandemic pump peak.
No place on our list has a larger portion of listings that have had a price reduction, with more than 1 in 3 listings having been discounted by the seller.
The number of homes available in the Austin metro is back to pre-pandemic levels, thanks in part to the boom in new construction.
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: +81.0%
May 2023 median list price: $345,000
The number of homes available in the Big Easy has earned it a place on our list, with an 81% increase.
Worth noting: By this same time last year, New Orleans inventory was already back on the rise. Measuring from the inventory low point, New Orleans has also seen the number of available homes more than double.
The inventory increase hasn’t quite put it back to pre-pandemic levels, but if the upward trajectory continues, New Orleans should reach that milestone in the coming months.
And although list prices in New Orleans haven’t been as swingy as they’ve been in a place like Austin, they have crept back up—and are now less than 1 percentage point shy of the all-time high set in March 2022.
A newly listed, midcentury boathouse on New Orlean’s iconic Lake Pontchartrain can be found for about $375,000.
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: +74.1%
May 2023 median list price: $369,450
There are plenty of homes for sale in Tulsa—they just aren't the more affordably priced properties that buyers are seeking.
“We have so much more inventory right now, and we just have less buyers," says local real estate agent Tiffany Johnson, of Tiffany Johnson Homes.
It's a price point game, she says. “You can’t find anything under $150,000, and anything under $300,000 is selling quickly."
The market has shifted a lot since last year, especially for sellers who now face more competition.
“The buyers who are in the market are very serious. They will make a move quick, but they have so many houses to choose from, so [sellers and agents ] have to be almost perfect,” Johnson says. “They have to find ways to actually market these homes now.”
Rounding out the top 10 metros where the number of homes for sale has increased the most is Raleigh, NC, at 72.7%; Wichita, KS, at 59.8%; Las Vegas, at 57.5%; Greenville, SC, at 57.1%; and Omaha, NE, at 54.4%.
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: -35.3%
May 2023 median list price: $1,530,000
Topping the list of places where inventory is tightest is Silicon Valley's San Jose. The tech hub is one of the most expensive metros in the nation, with a median price tag of $1.5 million.
Posing another hurdle for buyers: The number of homes for sale is still near record lows. The metro area, with more than 2 million people, had fewer than 1,000 homes for sale in May.
Tuan Tran, a Realtor® at Home Page Real Estate in San Jose, sees changes in this unique and wealthy home market amid turbulence in the tech business.
“Now I see a lot of investors holding back,” Tran says, adding that they are waiting to see whether a tech recession runs deeper. “Inflation is still high. Paychecks haven’t gotten much bigger.”
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: -26.0%
May 2023 median list price: $424,925
Hartford topped our list of markets that will dominate in 2023, and the low home inventory seems to be proving us right.
Buyers from around the Northeast have poured into the "Insurance Capital of the World," about 90 minutes southwest of Boston and 2.5 hours northeast of New York City, due to the reasonably priced homes for sale and good jobs available.
The city has the fewest price reductions of any city, with only 1 in 14 listings with a markdown.
In another sign of the market's strength, Hartford boasts the fastest-selling homes of any place on our list, with the typical home spending just 19 days on the market. That's less than half the national median time of 43 days in May.
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: -23.4%
May 2023 median list price: $374,950
The housing markets in many traditionally affordable, Midwestern cities, like Milwaukee, have continued to chug along, while other pricier markets have sputtered or stalled.
In May, there were 23% fewer homes for sale than the year before. And the median home in Milwaukee is selling in 29 days, just four days more than the all-time low of 25 days in May 2022.
Another indicator of the overall strength of the Milwaukee market: The relatively small portion of homes that have had a price reduction. Only 1 in 10 is marked down.
For those considering selling in Milwaukee, the metrics suggest a quick sale, likely without a price drop, is still the norm right now. Buyers might want to consider this updated, three-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape Cod for about $225,000.
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: -20.3%
May 2023 median list price: $234,950
Dayton, a Rust Belt city bout an hour northeast of Cincinnati, is the most affordable of all the cities on our list, with prices 45% below the national median. The "Gem City" is home to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
In contrast to what we’ve seen in the markets that got hot during the pandemic pump, prices in Dayton have been steady: no big swings up or down, but a rather steady and slight incline.
Dayton's median listing price per square foot in May was up 6.7% year over year.
Buyers can find big deals in Dayton. This four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house on a third of an acre is for sale for $219,000.
May 2023 year-over-year active listings change: -18.5%
May 2023 median list price: $376,000
The Windy City features near-record low inventory right now.
The number of available homes crept up by about 2% from April to May. But aside from the February 2022 nadir in inventory, there haven’t been this few homes on the market in Chicago in recent history. (Realtor.com listing data goes back to mid-2016.)
“Currently, what my buyers are seeing—and my sellers are experiencing—is that the north side of Chicago, along the lakefront, has, by far, the most pronounced drop,” says Libert of EXIT Strategy Realty in Chicago.
The rest of the top 10 metros with the largest decrease in inventory were Washington, DC, at -15.6%; Bakersfield, CA, at -13.2%; Albany, NY, at -13.1%; Allentown, PA, at -12.5%; and Seattle, at -10.8%.
Evan Wyloge is a data journalist at Realtor.com. He covers trends in real estate.
A local real estate agent can answer questions, give guidance, and schedule home tours.