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In the earlier part of 2019, there were indicators inventory resurfaced.

Now, after the hot house-hunting season, listings remain scarce, according to Zillow’s latest Real Estate Market Report.

For the five months between September 2018 and February 2019, inventory started to tick up, after declining for nearly four straight years, according to data from Zillow. Come May of this year, however, there were 10.6 percent fewer listings nationwide—a deficit that fueled the 6.4 percent shortage today. The biggest drop-off? Entry-level listings, which expanded 6.7 percent in October 2018, but fell 10.3 percent in September of this year.

With the return of shortages, appreciation could potentially reignite, following nine months of slowing, the report shows. In September, annual appreciation continued to cool, at 4.8 percent—but, comparing quarterly rates, appreciation resurged 4.3 percent. Last month, appreciation clocked in at high rates in Indianapolis, at 8.1 percent; Austin, at 7.6 percent; Charlotte, at 7.1 percent; Columbus, Ohio, at 6.8 percent; and Atlanta, at 6.4 percent. In Austin and Columbus, notably, there were 14 percent fewer listings year-over-year.

Additionally, with low mortgage rates, buyer demand is predicted to rise, contributing to less options overall.

According to Skylar Olsen, director of Economic Research at Zillow, these changes signal strength.

“Housing appears to have renewed its place as a bright spot contributing to continued U.S. economic growth,” Olsen says. “The return of accelerating quarterly price growth, rising sales numbers and increasing home builder confidence and activity all point to closing out 2019 on a healthy note, despite greater volatility over the course of this year.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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