The inventory of homes for sale in 18 major markets crept upward at a slower pace in July than it has in recent months, ending the month up just 1.18% from June, according to Zip Realty, the Emeryville, Calif.-based real estate brokerage.

The rise was less than half the 2.54% month-to-month increase posted in June and far below increases of 5.10%, 7.16% and 6.52% posted in May, April and March, respectively. However, the lower percentage may reflect the seasonal slowdown in real estate that normally occurs in July.

Inventory increases were highest in the West, with Seattle leading all 18 markets with a 6.1% increase from June and a whopping 56.7% increase over last July. According to recent local Realtor data, prices have held up relatively well in the Seattle area, but the Zip data indicates that 36.8% of the homes on the market there had taken at least one price reduction since going on the market.

Baltimore was second in terms of rate of increase, up 3.6% from June and up 31% year-over-year. Washington D.C., however, was up only 0.1% and is only 3.9% ahead of last July.

Inventory in the San Francisco Bay Area, which also has held up relatively well during the downturn, rose 3.7% from June and is up 23.3% from last July. Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Sacramento were all up 3% and up 33.4%, 20.5% and 13.6%, respectively, on a year-to-year comparison. Orange County and San Diego were up 2% and 2.3% respectively for June, with Orange County up 34.4% year-over year and San Diego down 2.1% from last July.

In Florida, inventory in Tampa was down 0.9% sequentially and is up 16.9% year-over year; Orlando was up 0.8% and 34.4%; and Miami was up 0.2% and 34.2%.

In Texas, Dallas was down 0.1% sequentially and up 6.8% year-over-year, and Houston was up 0.7% and 19.2%.

Boston inventory was down 2.8% from June and down 5.8% from last July.Chicago was up 1.2% sequentially and is up 26% year-over-year. Minneapolis was down 0.2% in June but up 16.8% from last July.

The Zip data is taken from local multiple listing services in the 18 markets and includes single-family homes, condominiums and town houses.

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