Home inventory has dropped to its lowest level EVER.

Inventory Plummets to Lowest Level on Record in December

For-sale inventory dropped nearly -41% lower than supply levels two years ago, according to Zillow’s latest market report.

Jeff Tucker, senior economist with Zillow, said, “Home shoppers picked the shelves clean this December, leaving fewer active listings that ever before in the US housing market.”

Active inventory fell below 1M in December.

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Zillow’s most recent report described December’s supply levels as “astonishingly low.”  On a month-to-month basis, inventory dropped     -11% from November to December due to what Tucker called a “faster-than-normal” reduction.

With such drastic inventory shortages, the pace of home sales slowed in December from the market’s blizzard pace during 2021’s spring and summer markets.  Days on the market to contract signing “lagged” nearly twice as long comparatively to 13 days in December.

Home Price Growth Up in December as Inventory Dropped

The more homebuyers “picked the shelves” and pulled the trigger to buy in December, the higher home prices jumped.  From November to December, home prices jumped +1.4% after the +1.2% price gains during October to November.  Tucker said, “Enough determined buyers kept up their house hunt to reignite monthly price appreciation.”

On a year-to-year basis, home values increased +19.6% in December, the highest annual jump in home values in Zillow’s dataset.  Currently, the typical home value in the US is, according to Zillow, $320,662.

On the Horizon

Zillow’s Tucker said, “Rising mortgage rates could be the next potential headwind but demand has proven persistent; neither high prices nor slim inventories have deterred buyers so far.”

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Some say that homebuyers may feel even more relaxed about making their buying choices as mortgage rates climb upwards during Q1 2022.  After all, there will likely be fewer potential buyers competing for whatever houses there are as more and more potential buyers become priced out of the market altogether.

Thanks to Inman.

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