Realtor.com data from December shows home listings are going up and prices are stabilizing. Still, locked-in owners might be reluctant to sell.
NEW YORK – Buyers across the country saw 33,251 more real estate listings in December compared to the same month last year while the median sale price remained relatively stable, Realtor.com reported in its latest housing trends report.
Realtor.com said the median sale price of homes in December grew by 1.2% year over year. The higher number of unsold inventory could be attributed to the ongoing growth in newly listed homes, the organization said. December was the second month since June 2023 that home shoppers were able to see a larger number of unsold homes than a year prior. The South was the only region in the United States that saw significant year-over-year growth in inventory in December with 7.7% growth. Inventory rose 0.2% in the Midwest and declined 8.0% and 14.8% in the Northeast.
On average, homes spent 61 days on the market, which is four days shorter than last year and about two weeks shorter than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization said the downward trend in mortgage rates could have a positive impact on home-selling sentiment, leading to more new listings on the market.
‘Nevertheless, once mortgage rates start to decline consistently, there is a potential for a slower-than-expected growth in listing activities,” Realtor.com said. “Given that approximately two-thirds of outstanding mortgages currently have rates below 4%, a significant number of individuals might opt to postpone their home selling in anticipation of even lower rates to buy their next homes.”
On a typical day in December, there were 4.9% more homes actively for sale year over year, Realtor.com said. The total number of unsold homes, including homes that are under contract, increased by 3.6% compared to last year.
“This positive trend can be attributed to a modest monthly decrease in active inventory in December 2023. In fact, during 2017 and 2022, the monthly decline in active inventory from November to December varied between 6.8% and 13.1%. While November witnessed an unusual uptick in inventory, December saw a more conventional seasonal trend with a modest monthly decline of 4.7%. Despite this encouraging annual increase, active inventory still remained 36.0% below typical 2017 to 2019 levels,” Realtor.com said.
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