Lower mortgage rates spur decline in for-sale inventory

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There were 98,000 fewer listings nationwide this October compared to the same month last year.

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The U.S. housing market showed signs of becoming increasingly competitive as inventory continued to tighten with a drop of nearly 98,000 listings compared to this time last year, according to realtor.com®‘s October 2019 housing trend report released Thursday.

At the same time, the inventory shortage compounded as homes flew off the market at a faster pace than last year, making it harder for would-be buyers to enter the market despite favorable interest rates.

“Owning a home continues to be a priority for buyers, as we head into the cooler months of the year. Driven by the tailwind of sub-4% mortgage rates, the steady demand for housing is drying market inventory at an accelerating pace,” according to realtor.com® Senior Economist George Ratiu. “With dwindling supply, prices maintain their upward pressure, deepening the affordability challenges for first-time buyers.”

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