The national inventory of lower-priced homes for sale, which are commonly sought by first-time homebuyers, fell 19.4% in the past year, according to new data from Seattle-based Zillow Inc. However, the drop was most dramatic in California, where the state's inventory fell more than 40%.
In the largest 30 metro areas, inventory across all tiers fell the most in three California markets: the Sacramento (-42.4%), San Francisco (-42.4%) and San Diego (-40.7%) metros. The drop was the lowest in the Cincinnati (-9.5%), Portland, Ore. (-10.8%) and St. Louis (-14.5%) areas.
‘First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out to the growing population of people who have recently been foreclosed upon,’ says Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist. ‘Investors are paying in cash and can close sooner, which is more favorable to banks and homeowners looking to sell.’