is predicting a buyer’s market due to higher inventory and slower price appreciation.
Home values in the U.S. rose just 0.2% between December and January, according to Zillow’s Home Value Index. That’s the smallest monthly increase since May of 2012. And while inventory is still low, the number of homes listed for sale on Zillow was up 11.1% annually on a seasonally adjusted basis in January, marking the fifth straight month of higher year-over-year inventory.
Inventory rose in 22 of the 35 largest metro areas in the country, Zillow reported. Some of the inventory gains came in areas that were particularly impacted by the housing meltdown, including Las Vegas (up 42.8%), Phoenix (up 30.5%) and Sacremento (up 26%). Those areas also saw price appreciation slow in January.
“Last year, tight inventory contributed to very rapid home value appreciation. Now, more inventory is helping to moderate home value increases in many areas. This increased supply is coming from many sources, as more sellers are free to list their homes after being released from negative equity, builders continue to ramp up construction and many homeowners decide to list their homes and capitalize on recent gains,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “As the market shakes off a long winter and gears up for the spring season, we should see buyers gaining a bit more leverage this year than they've had in the past, with more choice and less competition. This slightly more balanced market is another step on the road back to normal, and will help offset the impact of rising mortgage rates and more expensive homes for buyers.”
Mortgage brokers may see more business this spring, as