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Housing Supply Rises, But Don’t Celebrate Just Yet

Housing supply showed its first signs of easing in the second quarter and rose 12.2 percent over the first quarter, according to Trulia [1]. Despite this rebound being the largest second-quarter spike in inventory since 2015, the report [2] on housing inventory by Trulia found that supply continued its downward trend on a year-over-year basis.

Inventory continued its downward trend seen over the past 14 consecutive quarters and was down 5.3 percent from a year ago, Trulia said. Additionally, the report found that some of the nation's most unaffordable metros experienced inventory relief. They included New York and Los Angeles, where housing supply inched up 1 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, on a year-over-year basis.

San Diego, California posted the largest inventory growth of 22 percent year-over-year. This, compared with a 28 percent decrease registered by this metro during the same period last year.

Despite the rise in inventory, the report found that affordability continued to remain a challenge, especially in large metro areas, as the upward creep of prices and mortgage rates put homes in these metros further out of reach. "More inventory may be helping to cool off the bidding wars in these areas, but homebuyers are getting no relief from the unaffordability squeeze," Trulia said.

Like San Diego, the report found 25 other metro cities that were rebounding from inventory decreases last year. Of these, Nashville, Tennessee and Salt Lake City, Utah built more than their historical averages in 2017. According to the report, Nashville posted a 52 percent inventory gain in the second quarter compared with a decrease of 11.6 percent during the same period last year. Salt Lake City saw an inventory gain of 48.6 percent from a 16 percent decrease in inventory recorded in the previous year.

Apart from these cities, Fort Worth and Dallas in Texas; Greensboro, North Carolina; Washington D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Silver Spring, Maryland; and Little Rock, Arkansas also witnessed a double-digit spike in inventory when compared with the same period last year.