The number of homes listed for sale at the end of July was down 18 percent from a year ago and 1.2 percent from the month before. There were 2.31 million homes listed for sale at the end of the month, according to data from Realtor.com. It was only the fifth time since 2007 inventory levels declined. Standard & Poor’s second-quarter research report also showed improvements to inventory levels. According to their report, the amount of time it would take to work through the shadow inventory, or the number of homes still in the foreclosure pipeline, has fallen from the first quarter of this year. It was the first improvement since 2009. More here and here.