The home price surge of the past few years was primarily caused by a lack of homes for sale. Too few options led buyers to fight for the homes that were available. Bidding wars and competition made for a challenging housing market, as inventory fell to historic lows. This year, though, things have begun to change. There are more homes available for sale than there were last year. In fact, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, the number of homes for sale was up nearly 27 percent year-over-year in September. That's about even with August's rate of improvement. Danielle Hale, the website's chief economist, says the gains have been fueled, in part, by favorable selling conditions and current homeowners can still benefit. “For homeowners deciding whether to make a move this year, remember that listing prices – while lower than a few months ago – remain higher than in prior years, so you're still likely to find opportunities to cash-in on record-high levels of equity, particularly if you've owned your home for a longer period of time,” Hale said.