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May Home Inventory Up 15.4%

Only one year after leaning heavily to the favor of sellers, sharp gains in inventory have created a more level playing field for local housing markets nationwide.

Examining multiple listing service data in 37 cities across the United States, real estate site Movoto.com reported 104,157 listings available on the market, a 15.4 percent jump from 90,264 a year prior.

"By comparison, the total inventory index actually decreased by 22.9 percent between May 2012 and May 2013," wrote Randy Nelson, content manager at Movoto, in the company's blog.

Demonstrating how starved the region is for inventory, the West saw some of the greatest yearly increases in supply. Mesa, Arizona, topped the list, with inventory levels rising 82.5 percent to 1,765 units for sale.

Following that were Las Vegas, where supply was up 68.8 percent to 6,149, and Fresno, California, where the number of homes for sale rose 68.5 percent to 991.

Not all Western markets have fared so well over the year, however. San Francisco's housing supply continued to dry up, shrinking 8.3 percent from May 2013 and pushing the median price per square foot up to $720, the highest among all surveyed markets.

Meanwhile, Chicago experienced the greatest year-over-year increase in price. According to Movoto, the median price per square foot in the Windy City is approximately $185, an increase of 27.6 percent.

The next biggest increase was in Houston, where the median price is $102 per square foot, an increase of 27.5 percent.

"Texas markets continue to lag behind the rest of the nation in terms of inventory, which explains why median list prices in the state are rising on average," Nelson wrote.

Overall, Movoto reports the median list price per square foot was up 7.3 percent from May 2013 to May 2014, climbing to $172. In keeping with other recent reports of annual price slowdowns, that increase was less than half that recorded between May 2012 and May 2013.

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