Housing markets across the United States were given a serious disruption by the Covid-19 pandemic. But many major housing markets have recovered to impressive levels. Now, it seems the issue for many cities is the dangerously low housing inventory they possess amid a resurgence in homebuying. Using data from Redfin RDFN -4.9%, including months of supply of homes, available for-sale inventory, median sale prices, and number of new listings from September 2019 to September 2021, we identified the top-20 cities with low housing inventory that doesn’t look to improve any time soon. Read on to find out which housing markets are feeling the “big squeeze” in terms of homes for sale.
1. Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue has the least number of months of supply of housing inventory, with only 0.4 months supply as of September 2021. That’s down 71.4% from the previous year, when there was 1.4 months of supply in September 2020, and 1.9 months in September 2019. Bellevue currently has historically low housing inventory, with only 92 homes available for sale, down more than 69% from just last September 2020, when there were 300 homes available, which itself was down from 312 homes available in September 2019. New listings of homes for sale have not been able to keep up with declining inventory, with Bellevue posting 193 new listings in September 2021, which is almost 35% down from the previous year’s 296 new listings in September 2020. Not surprisingly, as Bellevue is gripped by low housing inventory, sale prices have grown apace. From 2019 to 2020, the median sale price rose 23.4%, from $887,500 in September 2019, to $1.096 million in September 2020, before rising again by 18.2%, to a current median sale price of $1.295 million in September 2021.
2. Sunnyvale, California
Sunnyvale is a bit larger than Bellevue, and yet it has an even worse level of low housing inventory. As of September 2021, Sunnyvale’s available inventory is down to 68 homes, a decline of 52.8% from the previous year where it stood at 144 homes. As a result, Sunnyvale’s months supply of homes of inventory is a mere 0.6 months in September 2021, down nearly 68% from the previous September’s 1.7 months of supply. The squeeze on available homes has helped drive up home prices in Sunnyvale, with the median sale price increasing by 15.8% year-over-year, from $1.425 million in 2020 to $1.650 million in September 2021.
3. Irvine, California
Located down in Orange County, Irvine has been experienced substantial population growth and robust economic development over the years. This hotspot, consequentially, has seen its housing inventory take a serious hit over the last year. Available homes in Irvine have dropped significantly, with the number of months of home supply declining by more than 70% year-over-year: From 2.7 months of supply in September 2020, down to 0.8 months of supply in September 2021. Overall housing inventory is also limited, with Irvine’s available homes for sale reaching 238 in September 2021, which is down 70.3% from 802 homes in September 2020. The increase in home prices in Irvine, as a result, is big: From September 2020’s median sale price of $844,500, it has now reached $1.060 million, an increase of 25.5% in only one year.
4. Eugene, Oregon
In recent years, Eugene has become one of the top sellers’ markets of 2021, and looking at its available housing inventory, this trend is likely to continue. Homes in Eugene were already selling consistently well for the last couple years, with the number of homes sold per month increasing year-over-year from September 2019 to September 2020 to September 2021. However, rising home sales have not been met by sufficient housing inventory or new listings of homes. Available homes for sale dropped by almost 41%, from 287 homes in September 2020, down to 170 homes in September 2021. Worse, the number of new listings, after a nice boost from 2019 to 2020, has declined by more than a fifth: From 280 new listings in September 2020, down to 223 new listings in September 2021. The low housing inventory has put pressure on prices, leading to a year-over-year increase of 13.3% in Eugene’s median sale price, from $375,000 to $425,000 in September 2020 to September 2021, respectively.
5. Irving, Texas
Texas has been drawing hundreds of thousands of interstate immigrants, and Irving is no exception. With its population rising, pressure has been placed on its housing market. Housing inventory in Irving stood at 465 available homes in September 2019, then declined to 363 in September, followed by a dramatic decline of 55.4%, to its current level of 162 available homes for sale. Related, Irving’s months of home supply has been reduced severely from last year: From 2.2 months of supply in September 2020, Irving’s is now down to only 0.9 months of home supply. And, new listings of homes has not been sufficient, with new home listings in Irving down13.7% from September 2020.