Seattle No. 1 in nation for housing shortage. No. 2? Eugene, Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. - Seattle ranks first in the nation for the smallest percentage of housing inventory up for sale.

Second in the nation?

Eugene, Oregon, where just 6/10ths of one percent of the available housing is up for sale, according to Realtor.com. (Link to story and data below)

If you've been looking high and low for a house to buy in Eugene, this isn't news to you.

"We would like to downsize to one level, one story home," Margie Whitesides said.

She and husband Bruce illustrate the problem: The Whitesides say they've looked for more than a year.

"You make a decision - and the home's gone," she said. "It's sold within, sometimes within a day or within hours of being on the market."

"Tighter than tight - absolutely," said Ben Mondragon, a Eugene-area Realtor. "It's the reason why unfortunately we're the number 2 city in America today for a housing crunch."

Mondragon said he's not surprised: it's a matter of sky-high demand coupled with a shrinking number of available homes for sale - 27 percent fewer than last year in Eugene.

"The Eugene area, available inventory in the average sales price around $270,000, is about 1.6 months supply," said J.R. Irwin, a real estate loan officer.

Two months is the average of Eugene inventory for sale.

Mondragon said the ideal would be 6 months of inventory.

The biggest losers in this dilemma are first-time homebuyers on limited budgets.

Irwin is not hopeful for very much change this year.

"Until we get an extension of the urban growth boundary and have more affordable properties out there, we're not going to really see a big change," he said.

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