Can’t find a home to buy this spring? It’s not your imagination. The number of homes for sale in the Washington region declined by 30.6 percent during the first quarter of 2019, compared with the first quarter of 2018, according to Trulia’s Inventory & Price Watch Report, the biggest drop of any major metro housing market. The drop in inventory has been particularly dramatic because it’s counter to the national trend. Across the United States, inventory was flat when comparing the first quarter of 2019 with the first quarter of 2018. The number of homes on the market did not decline during a quarter for the first time in more than two years.

Trulia’s researchers observed a national increase in the number of available starter homes (up 3.5 percent year-over-year), the fastest annual growth rate in more than six years. But for D.C. buyers, the number of homes for sale was down in every category: Starter homes were down 28.1 percent, trade-up homes were down 33.3 percent, and premium homes were down 30.1 percent.

The cities with the biggest jump in inventory are primarily those with high housing costs such as San Jose, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Trulia’s researchers noted that there are more available homes because demand has slowed rather than because more homeowners have placed their homes on the market.

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