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Inventory Declining at a Slower Pace

Home inventories continue to decline in many markets across the country, but the pace of those declines appears to be slowing, which may in turn slow price appreciation in some markets, according to ""Realtor.com,"":http://www.realtor.com/ a San Jose, California-based real estate website operated by ""Move Inc."":http://www.move.com/

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""Dramatic national year-over-year inventory declines have evaporated,"" Realtor.com said in its National Housing Trend Report released Tuesday.

National housing inventory declined 5.24 percent year-over-year in July, which is a slowdown from the 16.47 percent year-over-year decline reported in January.

At the same time, the number of markets with declining inventory year-over-year decreased to 118 in July, down from 125 markets in June.

Previously, many of the fastest inventory declines were taking place in California markets, but in July, California did not make any appearances on the list of top five markets with greatest inventory declines.

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The markets making up this list include Detroit, Michigan; Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Naples, Florida. These markets demonstrated inventory declines ranging from 23 to 30 percent.

The notable inventory declines in these markets ""suggests the beginning of a housing market recovery process similar to what was observed in Florida in 2011, and California in 2012 and 2013,"" according to Realtor.com.

The effect of the overall slowdown in inventory declines across the nation might be a similar slowdown in price appreciation. List prices, as observed by Realtor.com, increased 5.27 percent year-over-year in July.

""The recovery is entering a new phase where inventory shortfalls are no longer the driving force behind changes in housing prices in many markets,"" according to Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc.

While inventory is on the decline in many markets, inventory increases are starting to show up in some markets. The five markets with the greatest yearly inventory increases in July are Riverside-San Bernardino, California; Dayton-Springfield, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; Sacramento, and California; Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The age of housing inventory across the nation is declining. The median number of days a home spent on the market decreased 16.7 percent over the year in July, though it was up 6.25 percent month-over-month.

Age of inventory increased in just five markets in July. The five markets with the shortest number of days on market are Oakland, California (20 days); Denver, Colorado (31 days); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington (36 days); San Jose, California (37 days); and Detroit, Michigan (41 days).

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