Home Prices Rise, Inventory Falls

Following a flurry of home sales in November, the total number of homes for sale in December declined to a three-year low, according to data provided by Redfin.

“Prospective sellers were hesitant to list last month,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “Many of them are also buyers, and two transactions are much harder to pull off in a fast-paced, low-inventory environment than one. We expect sellers to list early in 2017, not only to make top dollar from eager buyers, but also to be in a position to act quickly when it comes time to make their next home purchase.”

Redfin receives current and local data from its agents positioned throughout the country. This allows the firm to have a comprehensive view of general real-estate trends unfolding within the markets it covers.

When compared to November, the number of new listings for December decreased by 26.8 percent. December’s median home price was about 276,000, which represents a 4.7 percent increase over the previous year. Furthermore, the median amount of days for which a home was listed on the market before going under contract was 54, which is the fastest rate for any December since Redfin began tracking the data in 2010.

“We’ve never before seen homes turn over so quickly at a national level,” Richardson said. She also noted that December’s data was rather surprising given existing conditions such as a new president-elect, higher mortgage rates, and low home inventory.

The low inventory should continue to cause an upward movement in the prices of homes in2017, with some regions experiencing higher growth than others.

Seattle was the quickest region for home sales, as half of all homes listed on the market were pending a sale within 19 days. Seattle also had the highest home price growth, increasing by a rate 14.8 percent since 2015.

By Tim McNally | DS News

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