Defying the normal trend, home sales in December rose above the number of November sales by a significant 14.4 percent. Sales were also 3.9 percent above those of last December. Although home sales have generally been lower in 2014 than 2013, three of the last four months have experienced sales higher than the same month last year. Home prices in December were also higher than one year ago, rising 5.9 percent. Inventory continues to be constrained, with 10.7 percent fewer homes for sale than last December. As a result, the Months Supply of inventory rose to 5.7 on a scale where 6.0 indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.
“After a sluggish start, it’s nice to see the year end on a positive note,” says REMAX CEO Dave Liniger. “Even though we’re well into the winter months, homebuyers felt confident enough to enter the market in greater numbers than just one month ago. And with prices rising at a much slower rate than last year, sellers continue to increase their equity, while buyers don’t feel priced out of the market.”
In the 53 metro areas surveyed for the December RE/MAX National Housing Report, the number of home sales increased 14.4 percent from November and were 3.9 percent above sales in December 2013. Although home sales in 2014 have generally been lower than those in 2013, during the last four months of the year, three have seen more sales than the same month last year. A total of 42 metro areas reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis and 12 reported double-digit increases.
The Median Sales Price of all homes sold in December was $196,000. This was 0.5 percent higher than the median price in November, and 5.9 percent above the median price seen in
December 2013. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas +12.2 percent Sales Price has now risen for 35 consecutive months. 43
Because inventory has generally moved in a positive direction this year and demand has been slightly below 2013 levels, home prices have not been rising as rapidly as last year. In December 2013, prices were growing more than twice as fast, at 11.9 percent year-over-year. Among the 53 metro areas surveyed, 43 reported higher sales prices than one year ago.
For all homes sold in December the average Days on Market was 74, three days higher than the average in November and just two days greater than the average in December last year. During 2014, six months had an average Days on Market in the 60s and six months were in the 70s. The low Days on Market average continues to be the result of a low inventory of homes for sale. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.
The inventory of homes for sale in December was lower than both the previous month and the same month last year. Inventory was down 10.7 percent from December 2013 and was 11.4 percent lower than November’s inventory. For the last two months, year over year inventory has declined, but for 14 of the last 20 months inventory has improved sequentially. The Months Supply of inventory rose slightly from 5.6 to 5.7 in December.
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