SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The number of U.S. homes for sale reached an all-time low in December, dipping below 700,000 for the first time as buyers remained active throughout the holiday season, according to realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report.
And due to unusually strong demand, home prices rose by double digits year-to-year, though the median listing price on realtor.com was $340,000, down from a summer high of $350,000.
“The shortage of homes for sale has been an ongoing issue for the last couple of years, but in December the combination of the holiday inventory slowdown and the pandemic buying trend caused it to dip to its lowest level in history,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Looking forward, we could see new lows in the next couple of months as buyers remain relatively active” but sellers hold back due to a new surge of COVID-19 cases.
Newly listed properties have shown mixed trends. While December’s data points to possible relief on the horizon, this figure has been impacted the most in areas with large COVID surges, and consistent improvement will be key in order to get out of this extreme shortage. We eventually expect to see improvements in the supply of homes for sale, especially in the second half of the year. Until then, finding a home will continue to be a top challenge for buyers across all price ranges.”
December report listing results
The number of homes for sale on realtor.com was down 39.6% year-to-year – a total of 449,000 fewer homes than in December 2019
Newly listed homes were only down 0.8% compared to last year, a substantial improvement from November when new listings were down 8.7%
The Western (+30.8%) and Northeastern larger markets (+15.0%) saw the strongest improvements in new listings, while the Midwest (+0.2%) and South (-4.0%) lagged
The West’s surge in newly listed homes is primarily attributed to San Jose, Calif. (+123.8%) and San Francisco (+98.9%)
December report asking-price results
The median listing price grew 13.4% year-over-year, to $340,000 in December – however, that’s a slight step back from its peak of $350,000
While prices increased nationwide, the largest gains were seen in the Northeast (+12.2%), followed by the West (+10.4%), Midwest (+8.6%) and South (+6.7%)
Within the nation’s 50 largest metros, prices increased by 8.8%, nearly the same as last month
December report time-on-market results
Homes sold in 66 days on average in December – 13 days faster than last year
Within the nation’s 50 largest metros, homes sold even faster, spending only 56 days on average on market
Florida metro year-to-year listing results in December
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: New listings were down 1.3%; homes spent 4 less days on the market; total active listings on realtor.com were down 24%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: New listings were down 1.9%, but they spent 5 more days on the market; total active listings on realtor.com were down 20.6%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: New listings were down 6.2%; homes spent 12 less days on the market; total active listings on realtor.com were down 46.3%
Jacksonville: New listings were down 13.5%; homes spent 15 less days on the market; total active listings on realtor.com were down 49.7%
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