Key Highlights

  • December 2019 broke housing market records with the strongest finish to the year and to the decade, according to RE/MAX
  • Sales prices increased +6.9% y/y to a record breaking median sales price of $312,500, according to Redfin

RE/MAX just released its latest National Housing Report for December 2019. That report indicates that home sales increased by +13.5% y/y in 54 metros covered by RE/MAX. This increase is the highest increase of any month in 2019 and the highest increase during the month of December since 2009.

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In its National Housing Report for December 2019, RE/MAX reported that along with such sterling sales increases, inventory declined across the country at the rate of -14.5% y/y, the lowest level of inventory since 2012. This inventory drop translates into there being an available supply of for-sale houses of only 3.3 months in December 2019 compared to a 4.8 month supply in December 2018.

The median sale price in December 2019 came in at $266,000, +11.1% higher than in December 2018, according to RE/MAX. This +11.1% median sale price increase is the highest year-to-year sale price of any month in 2019. Birmingham AL, Burlington VT and Los Angeles exceeded the national median sale price in December with median sale price increases of +34.3%, +26.7% and +26.2%, respectively.

Nationally, Days on the Market stats in December 2019 came in at 54 days, five days more than November 2019 and one day less than December 2018. Omaha NB came in with the lowest DOM at 24 days and Des Moines IA came in with the highest DOM at 110 days.

Across the 217 housing markets Redfin tracks, the median sales price of existing homes hit $312,500, or an increase of +6.9% y/y in December 2019. Redfins’s chief economist Daryl Fairweather said, “Low mortgage rates and a strong economy fueled homebuyer demand in December 2019, which boosted both home sales and prices. Prices heated up in West Coast metros like Seattle and Los Angeles which indicated the slowdown of 2019 has officially ended in these markets.”

Simultaneously, Redfin reported that supply weakened in December 2019 as the number of homes for sale dropped          -14.6% on an annual basis, the biggest drop since March 2013. Fairweather said, “Many homeowners have refinanced their mortgages to take advantage of low interest rates and therefore, feel committed to staying put. The lack of homes for sale is going to fuel competition and price growth in 2020.”

Home prices rose the most in Memphis TN (+15.9% and Camden NJ (+12.47%), according to Redfin.

 

Thanks to RE/MAX, Redfin, and HousingWire’s Julia Falcon and Alcynna Lloyd for source data.

Also read: Population Growth in the South and West Driving Up New Home Sales & Prices, Home Price Growth in San Francisco Hits the Wall, Podcast: What To Expect In 2020? 10 Key Points! (Part 2)