The National Association of Realtors reported this week that existing home sales (completed transactions that include single family and attached homes) rose 14.7 percent in December which is the largest monthly increase ever recorded and is up 7.7 percent over last December. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says December’s robust bounce back caps off the best year of existing sales (5.26 million) since 2006 (6.48 million).
Existing home sales weren’t the only housing factor up in December. The median existing home price for all housing types in December was $224,100, up 7.6 percent from December 2014 ($208,200). Last month’s price increase marks the 46th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory dropped 12.3 percent to 1.79 million existing homes available for sale and is now 3.8 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at 3.9 month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2005 (3.6 months). Inventory levels below 6 percent is an indication of a seller’s market.
Days on Market increased 4 days in December to 58 days from 54 days in November but still less than 66 days a year ago.
Distressed sales, foreclosures and short sales, declined to 8 percent in December down from 9 percent in November and 11 percent in December 2014.
Graphic courtesy of the National Association of Realtors