Despite the traditional winter slow down, both home prices and sales inched higher in December. The RE/MAX National Housing Report, a survey of MLS data in 52 metropolitan areas, found the December median home price of $185,400 was 11.9 percent higher than the median in December 2012.
After double-digit growth in home sales during the summer, sales cooled off, but December still saw a 0.7 percent year-over-year increase. Slower sales growth is associated with a limited inventory of homes for sale coupled with increased lending requirements and mortgage fees.
At the rate of home sales in December, the Months Supply of inventory rose to 5.9 months, nearly equal to the 6.0 supply that defines a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. Although the national inventory situation remains tight, it appears to be trending in the right direction. With a 12.0 percent drop in inventory from December 2012, the percentage of year-over-year inventory loss has shrunk for nine consecutive months.
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