According to Zip Realty, the national real estate brokerage that monitors Multiple Listing Service data in 18 major markets, growth in the bloated inventory of homes for sale is slowing, cotninuing a trend that began in early summer and suggesting that there will be fewer homes coming on the market over the next several months.

Zip put the overall increase in inventory at 1.2% to 820,285 homes, which is close to its average over the past 20 years at this time of year. More importantly, the survey showed a month-to-month reduction of 2.2% in Boston, where evidence of the slump in housing sales first appeared in 2005, and a slowing of growth in inventory in Florida markets to the low single digits.

Market by market, on a July-to-August basis, home inventories as measured by MLS listings were up 3.5% in Baltimore; down 2.2% in Boston; up 0.4% in Chicago; down 8.5% in Dallas; up 0.8% in Houston; up 2.4% in Las Vegas; up 3.7% in Los Angeles; up 1.6% in Miami; down 0.8% in Minneapolis; up 2.3% in Orange County; up 0.7% in Orlando; up 2.5% in Phoenix; up 4.8% in San Francisco; up 0.6% in Sacramento; up 5.7% in Seattle; up 4.2% in San Diego; up 2.1% in Tampa and up 1.2% in Washington, D.C. The rise in Seattle and San Francisco suggests that those markets, which have held up relatively well in the housing downturn, are now starting to feel its effects.

On a year-over-year basis, inventories across all the markets were up 16.29%. Inventories were up 31.0% in Baltimore; down 6.4% in Boston; up 21.2% in Chicago; down 2.8% in Dallas; up 14.8% in Houston; up 30.2% in Las Vegas; up 21.4% in Los Angeles; up 29.1% in Miami; up 12.6% in Minneapolis; up 13.0% in Orange County; up 25.2% in Orlando; up 19.9% in Phoenix; up 21.7% in San Francisco; up 8.4% in Sacramento; up 55.1% in Seattle; down 0.7% in San Diego; up 12.8% in Tampa and up 6.8% in Washington, D.C.

The percentage of homes that have taken at least one price reduction ranged from a low of 35.3% in Dallas to 50.1% in Sacramento, with most of the markets coming in in the low-to-mid 40% range.

Zip, based in Emeryville, Calif., is a national real estate brokerage that combines national exposure via the Internet with brokers at the local level.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.