L.A. is one of the most expensive cities in America when it comes to paying rent or buying a house.

But the folks at real estate website Zillow have at least a little good news for us today. They say L.A.'s relatively low number of homes for sale is on the rise. The market is loosening up.

See also: L.A.'s Sucky Housing Affordability Is Getting Worse

Inventory in Los Angeles is up nearly 20 percent compared to last year, Zillow says. Even better, if you ask us, is the news that inventory for the lowest-priced homes is up 27.3 percent compared to 2013. In the so-called “middle tier” of homes, we're talking 25 percent more listings, says the site.


And, hey, if you're a baller, there are 10 percent more homes on the market in the high-end category, too, Zillow says.

Now the bad news: Prices aren't coming down, it would seem.

Zillow says L.A. home values are up 7.1 percent compared to last year. The Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) is at $530,400, which means it will probably cost you half a million dollars to get a typical roof over your head in the market.

And median rentals are up 4.2 percent, with the Zillow Rent Index hovering at a steep $2,429. (Zillow's rental data tends to skew higher, toward single-family homes).

Credit: Michael Locke/L.A. Weekly Flickr pool

Credit: Michael Locke/L.A. Weekly Flickr pool

See also: Here Are the 10 Best L.A. Neighborhoods for Renting an Affordable House

The site reports that there were more homes for sale in 25 of the 35 largest metro areas across the nation compared to last fall.

So does this mean that the insane, post-recession housing market we've seen in L.A. is starting to cool off? Maybe a little. Here's what Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries says:

Even as conditions improve for buyers overall, it remains a tough row to hoe for first-time buyers and lower-income buyers, especially compared to their more well-off contemporaries. We expect more demand to come from the lower end of the market in coming years as millennials overtake Generation X as the largest home-buying demographic. As this happens, builders will be forced to build for these more entry-level buyers, and inventory at the bottom tier should improve, however slowly.

Happy hunting.

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Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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