December Housing Report

January 21, 2020

DENVER – December posted a record finish to a year and a decade, with a year-over-year increase in home sales of 13.5% in the 54 metro areas covered by the report. That was the highest increase of any month in 2019, and the highest for the month of December since 2009.

Also posting a record for 2019 was the inventory decline of 14.5% year-over-year, accompanied by corresponding drops in Months Supply of Inventory – 3.3 vs. 4.8 a year earlier – and Days on Market – 54 compared to 55 a year ago.

“It was good to see the year-over-year spike in December home sales, indicating robust homebuyer interest,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “The strong December capped a solid second half of 2019, with year-over-year sales increases in four of the final six months. The gains were largely attributable to low interest rates and high demand, and with those factors still in place, we expect sales to continue at a solid pace into the first part of this year.”

Year-over-year, sales were up five months in 2019, with the majority occurring in the back half of the year. Inventory, meanwhile, grew year-over-year in each of the first six months, then shrunk in each of the last six months.

The Median Sales Price of $266,000 was 11.1% higher than December 2018 and the highest year-over-year increase for any month of 2019.

Closed Transactions
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in December 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 4.1% compared to November 2019, and up 13.5% compared to December 2018.  Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Birmingham, AL at +34.3%, Burlington, VT at +26.7%, and Los Angeles, CA at +26.2%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices
In December 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $266,000, up 3.8% from November 2019, and up 11.1% from December 2018. Only one metro area, Burlington, VT at -3.3%, saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Fourteen metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Birmingham, AL at +19.9%, Trenton, NJ at +19.1%, and Honolulu, HI at +15.3%.

Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in December 2019 was 54, up five days from the average in November 2019, and down one day from the average in December 2018. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 24, Nashville, TN at 31, and Cincinnati, OH at 34. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 110, and a tie between Augusta, ME and Hartford, CT at 89. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in December 2019 was down 13.7% from November 2019 and down 14.5% from December 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in December 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 3.3 compared to 3.5 in November 2019, and decreased compared to 4.8 in December 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In December 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, two metro areas, Miami, FL at 8.9 and Augusta, ME at 6.4, reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were San Francisco, CA at 1.4, Salt Lake City, UT at 1.6, and Denver, CO at 1.7.


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