Listing prices up 10% in Houston

by Timothy Inklebarger

The number of homes for sale nationwide dropped below 700,000 in December, hitting an all-time low, while home prices were up double-digits over the year prior, according to realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report.

The median listing price dropped to $340,000 from the record-high of $350,000 set over the summer.

New listings were down 3.5% in the Houston area, and active listings were down 33.5% from December 2019. The median listing price was $329,750, a year-over-year increase of 9.9%. Homes spent a median of 57 days on the market, 12 fewer than the year prior.

“The shortage of homes for sale has been an ongoing issue for the last couple of years, but in December the combination of the holiday inventory slowdown and the pandemic buying trend caused it to dip to its lowest level in history,” realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in the press release. “Looking forward, we could see new lows in the next couple of months as buyers remain relatively active, but a surge of new COVID cases may slow the number of sellers entering the market.

“Newly listed properties have shown mixed trends. While December’s data points to possible relief on the horizon, this figure has been impacted the most in areas with large COVID surges, and consistent improvement will be key in order to get out of this extreme shortage. We eventually expect to see improvements in the supply of homes for sale, especially in the second half of the year. Until then, finding a home will continue to be a top challenge for buyers across all price ranges.”

There were approximately 449,000 fewer homes for sale nationwide in December, compared to the year prior, a decline of 39.6%.

Nationally, the number of homes for sale was down 39.6%, amounting to 449,000 fewer homes for sale than last December.

New listings remained relatively flat from a year prior, declining a mere 0.8%. That’s up from the sharper decline of 8.7% in November.

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