Editor's note: Data collected and analyzed by Realtor.com through May 2012. Includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops.
The national housing market continues to stabilize, according to data compiled by Realtor.com for 146 U.S. metros through May 2012.
May continued April's year-over-year upswing, with for-sale inventory dropping 20.07 percent, median list prices jumping 3.17 percent to $194,900, and median age of for-sale inventory falling 9.78 percent compared to a year ago.
Data Point Percent Change, May 2012 vs. May 2011 Number of Listings -20.07% Median List Price 3.17% Median Age of Inventory -9.78%
As of May, national for-sale inventory stood at 1.88 million units, roughly 60 percent of a September 2007 inventory peak of 3.1 million units (2007 was the first year Realtor.com tracked this data nationally).
Despite a slight 1.96 percent month-over-month increase in national inventory -- expected because listings usually swell during the springtime buying season -- all but two of the 146 metros Realtor.com tracks had fewer homes for sale than a year ago.
Some of those markets hit hardest in the housing crisis -- Atlanta and metros in Florida, Arizona and California -- are showing some consistent, month-by-month turnaround. In May, Phoenix, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., and Atlanta were among the top 10 metros Realtor.com tracks with year-over-year percentage drops in for-sale inventory.
This month, six of the metros in the top 10 that saw the greatest reduction in inventories from a year ago were in California, including three in the San Francisco Bay Area: Oakland at No. 1 (56.6 percent fewer listings than a year ago); San Jose at No. 6 (40.88 percent fewer listings); and San Francisco at No. 10 (38.9 percent fewer listings).
Top 10 metros for greatest year-over-year reduction in for-sale inventory, May 2012
Rank Metro For-sale inventory, percent change, May 2012 vs. May 2011 1 Oakland, Calif. -56.60% 2 Fresno, Calif. -48.76% 3 Bakersfield, Calif. -48.59% 4 Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. -44.71% 5 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. -42.65% 6 San Jose, Calif. -40.80% 7 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. -39.76% 8 Stockton-Lodi, Calif. -39.25% 9 Atlanta -39.19% 10 San Francisco -38.90%
Location: Oakland, Calif.
For-sale inventory, year-over-year change (%) -56.60% Number of listings 3,899 Median age of inventory (days) 23 Median list price $369,000
View over Oakland, Calif., and the Bay Bridge via Shutterstock
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Top 10 metros for shrinking inventory.