NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this December fell 3.6 percent from last month but modestly rose 1.1 percent from last year. December’s existing home sales reached 5.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. This would be the highest annual rate in the last 11 years.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $246,800 in December, up 5.8 percent from a year ago. This marks the 70th consecutive month of year over year gains.
Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago, with the Midwest leading all regions with an incline of 7.8 percent. The West had a gain of 7.3 percent followed by the South with a gain of 5.8 percent. The Northeast had the smallest gain of 3.0 percent from December 2016.
December’s inventory figures are down again in double digits 11.4 percent from last month to 1.48 million homes for sale. Supply continues to be an issue as inventories are down 10.3 percent from a year ago, marking 31 months of year over year declines. It will take 3.2 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. Transactions are moving faster and it takes approximately 40 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, down from 52 days a year ago.
From November, all four regions experienced declines in sales. The Northeast had the biggest decline of 7.5 percent followed by the Midwest with an increase of 6.3 percent. The South dipped 1.7 percent followed by the Northeast which had the smallest drop of 1.6 percent.
Two of the four regions showed an incline in sales from a year ago. The South had the biggest gain of 3.1 percent. The Midwest had an incline of 1.5 percent. The West had decline sales of 0.8 percent. The Northeast had the biggest dip of 2.6 percent. The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 41.3 percent of total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 13.3 percent.
In December, single-family sales decreased 2.6 percent and condominiums sales fell 11.6 percent compared to last month. Single-family home sales rose 1.0 percent and condominium sales were up 1.7 percent compared to a year ago. Both single-family and condominiums had an increase in price with single-family up 5.4 percent at $248,100 and condominiums up 6.4 percent at $236,500 from December 2016.