The number of homes listed for sale fell in many US cities in October as buyers sought to qualify for a federal tax credit.

The supply of homes available for sale in 27 major metropolitan areas at the end of October was down 2.8% from a month earlier, according to figures compiled by ZipRealty Inc. ZipRealty data cover all single-family homes, condos and town houses listed on local multiple-listing services in metro areas where the firm operates.

Inventories typically increase in October.

Wall Street Journal