15 Cities With the Least Home Inventory

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Anxious home seller
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Inspection Support Network.

The U.S. housing market appears to be turning a corner after a two-year stretch of high demand and fast-rising prices. Sales prices for homes have begun to level out, as homes sit for longer on the market and sellers show greater willingness to lower their prices.

Mortgage applications have fallen to their lowest level in more than two decades after the average rate for a 30-year home loan approximately doubled over the last year amid efforts to combat inflation.

But while lower demand is likely to slow the pace of price increases in the months ahead, these trends will not address a deeper issue in the housing market: a lack of supply. According to research from Realtor.com, the U.S. has a deficit of 5.24 million homes, a number that represents a 1.4 million-unit increase over the 2019 figure.

Housing starts have been trending upward since the spring of 2020, but home builders must also make up for lower levels of activity over the last decade. The bursting of the housing bubble in the mid-2000s and the ensuing Great Recession ravaged the construction industry during the 2010s.

Thousands of construction firms closed or merged, the industry lost more than 2 million jobs, and the volume and value of construction projects fell off significantly. The downturn had a major consequence for the residential housing market, as the number of new privately-owned housing starts fell by more than 35% from the 2000s to the 2010s.

Today, America’s largest generation, the millennials, are at their peak homebuying age, and America’s second-largest generation, the baby boomers, are increasingly choosing to age in place rather than downsize their homes.

Coupled with a lack of supply, these demographic forces have left the U.S. with an insufficient housing stock available for would-be homebuyers. The red-hot market of the last two years merely put this reality in sharper relief.

To determine the locations with the least home inventory, researchers at Inspection Support Network looked at Redfin’s data from January through May 2022 and calculated the average months’ supply over the time period.

Here are the large U.S. cities (population 350,000 or more) with the least home inventory.

15. Fresno, CA

Fresno California
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.93
  • Average days on market: 9.9
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 64.6%
  • Median sale price: $375,087

14. Arlington, TX

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.92
  • Average days on market: 15.3
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 70.4%
  • Median sale price: $336,947

13. Tampa, FL

Tampa, Florida
Ilya Images / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.91
  • Average days on market: 8.8
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 51.2%
  • Median sale price: $377,420

12. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City skyline
Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.90
  • Average days on market: 7.1
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 47.2%
  • Median sale price: $250,511

11. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, California
Ed Gavryush / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.84
  • Average days on market: 8.2
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 71.5%
  • Median sale price: $502,869

10. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Oklahoma
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  • Average months of supply: 0.83
  • Average days on market: 9.2
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 47.5%
  • Median sale price: $210,230

9. San Diego, CA

Dancestrokes / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.82
  • Average days on market: 8.9
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 67.6%
  • Median sale price: $884,164

8. Virginia Beach, VA

Norfolk Virginia
Ramunas Bruzas / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.81
  • Average days on market: 16.1
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 63.5%
  • Median sale price: $337,984

7. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis, Indiana
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.79
  • Average days on market: 5.9
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 48.4%
  • Median sale price: $228,901

6. Wichita, KS

Wichita, Kansas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.76
  • Average days on market: 15.8
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 52.6%
  • Median sale price: $192,786

5. San Jose, CA

San Diego, California
joseph-sohm / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.75
  • Average days on market: 8.5
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 88.0%
  • Median sale price: $1,414,963

4. Seattle, WA

Seattle skyline
Checubus / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.68
  • Average days on market: 7.7
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 58.2%
  • Median sale price: $850,279

3. Omaha, NE

Omaha Nebraska
Aspects and Angles / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.56
  • Average days on market: 5.6
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 61.2%
  • Median sale price: $250,721

2. Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado
EdgeofReason / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.56
  • Average days on market: 5.3
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 68.6%
  • Median sale price: $589,250

1. Aurora, CO

Aurora Colorado
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com
  • Average months of supply: 0.47
  • Average days on market: 4.3
  • Percentage of homes sold above asking: 75.3%
  • Median sale price: $485,087

Methodology

Homes in Memphis, Tennessee
Steven Frame / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from Redfin’s Data Center, using data from January 2022 through May 2022. To determine the locations with the least home inventory, researchers calculated the average number of months of supply (the number of months it takes for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace) over the time period, with lower values being ranked higher. In the event of a tie, the location with the lower average days on market was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included. Additionally, cities were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000–149,999), midsize (150,000–349,999), and large (350,000 or more). Note, only locations with complete data for all fields were considered in this analysis.