Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Housing Inventory

Utah State government enacted the Home Run program in March, which offers $6000 to buyers of newly constructed homes, in an attempt to draw down the inventory. How's that working out?

According to Jack Healy of the NY Times, nationwide sales are up but inventory is up even more:
The National Association of Realtors reported that the inventory of unsold houses, townhouses and condominiums rose to 3.97 million in April, the highest level since November. At the current rate of sales, it would take 10.2 months to exhaust those unsold properties.
The Deseret News has nothing on the NAR report. Lesley Mitchell of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah home prices are depreciating, but has nothing on inventory.

Unfortunately the Salt Lake Board's statistical reports don't show inventory numbers either. But the monthly report* for April shows 839 units sold, with 2,112 new units listed. I think it's safe to assume that Home Run has struck out, and that if the State Legislature really wants to draw down inventory, they need to expand the program to include existing homes, as a way to draw additional buyers into the market.

(* I'm not sure that link will continue to work. I'll see if I can post a copy of the document.)

(UPDATE 6/15: Yup, the April report got replaced with the May report. It'd be nice if the Salt Lake Board would post archived copies of the report.)