Press releases

Number Of For-Sale Homes Down Almost 17 Percent In February, Furthering Inventory Shortage

Rising Home Values Expected To Enable More Owners To List Homes In Future, Easing Squeeze

Mar 7, 2013

SEATTLE, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The overall number of homes listed for sale nationwide on Zillow® was down 16.6 percent year-over-year in late February, indicating a continuing inventory crunch as the market heads into the busy spring selling season.

Zillow looked at all homes available for sale on Zillow on Feb. 24, 2013 and compared it to the number of homes available on Feb. 24, 2012. The analysis covers homes nationally and in the 99 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, and across bottom, middle and top price tiers[i].

Nationwide, the greatest year-over-year decreases in inventory were among more expensive homes, with the availability of top-tier properties falling 20.5 percent year-over-year. That was followed by middle-tier homes (-17.2 percent year-over-year) and bottom-tier homes (-9.1 percent year-over-year). Only five metro areas showed more homes for sale overall last month than in February 2012: El Paso, Texas (+18.5 percent); Albuquerque, N.M. (+8.1 percent); Little Rock, Ark. (+7.7 percent); Fort Myers, Fla. (+1.5 percent); and Youngstown, Ohio (+0.2 percent).

"The supply of for-sale listings continues to dry up, driven in part by potential sellers trapped in negative equity and homeowners that won't sell out of fear they won't be able to find a suitable home to buy later," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "But the impact of constrained inventory will create the solution to the problem. Over the past year, inventory tightness has contributed to increases in home values in many markets. As home values rise, some homeowners will be freed from negative equity and able to list their homes, which will contribute to an easing of the inventory crunch. While this inventory is coming, it may still be a frustrating spring for buyers vying for what inventory is available. It's important to be patient and not commit to paying beyond one's comfort level in the heat of negotiations."

Large California metros experienced the biggest decrease in homes for sale over the past year. Among the 30 largest metros covered by Zillow, four of the top five in inventory contraction are located in California: Sacramento (-48 percent); Los Angeles (-45.7 percent); San Francisco (-40.9 percent); and San Diego (-39.4 percent). Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (-36.7 percent) rounded out the top five.

While the overall number of homes listed for sale in February was down year-over-year, the drop was less severe than in January[ii]. In January, the number of for-sale listings was down 17.5 percent year-over-year, which could indicate an easing of the inventory crunch. Almost two-thirds (63) of the areas surveyed showed a smaller year-over-year decline in for-sale homes in February than in January.


Year-over-year % Change In Homes For Sale Listed On Zillow,
Feb. 24, 2013 vs. Feb. 24, 2012

Metro Area

Bottom-Tier Homes

Middle-Tier Homes

Top-Tier Homes

All Homes






New York





Los Angeles










Dallas-Fort Worth















Washington, D.C.





Miami-Fort Lauderdale















San Francisco










Riverside, Calif.















Minneapolis-St Paul





San Diego





Tampa, Fla.





St. Louis




















Portland, Ore.





Sacramento, Calif.





Orlando, Fla.










San Antonio










Kansas City





Las Vegas





About Zillow:

Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) operates the largest home-related marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow's Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. The Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage MarketplaceZillow Rentals, Zillow Digs™, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle., Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech, HotPads and Digs are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

[i] Zillow divides its inventory of for-sale listings into three tiers, based on the value of all homes within a given metropolitan area, as determined by Zillow's Zestimate of a home. Bottom-tier homes are the homes that fall into the bottom third of home values within the metro. Middle-tier homes are homes that fall into the middle third of home values within the metro. Top-tier homes are homes that fall into the top third of home values within the metro.

[ii] Zillow examined the total number of homes listed for sale on Zillow on January 23, 2013 and compared results to January 23, 2012.

SOURCE Zillow, Inc.

For further information: Cory Hopkins, Zillow, +1-206-757-2701 or