By one measure, December 2019 was the strongest close to the year of any year in the last decade.
RE/MAX released its National Housing Report for December 2019 last week, which revealed that the month posted a record finish to a year and the decade.
December finished with a year-over-year increase in home sales of 13.5% in the 54 metros it covers. This is the highest increase of any month in 2019, the report said.
It’s also the highest for the month of December since 2009.
And as sales increased, inventory fell. According to RE/MAX’s report, December saw a 14.5% year-over-year decline in inventory.
Consequently, there was a significant drop in the months supply of inventory. According to the report, there was only 3.3 months of available inventory on the market as of December 2019, compared to 4.8 months in December 2018.
“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.
“The strong December capped a solid second half of 2019, with year-over-year sales increases in four of the final six months,” Contos added. “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.”
Interestingly, housing inventory grew year over year in the first six months of 2019, but shrank for the last six months of 2019, the report said.
The median sale price of a home was $266,000 in December, 11.1% higher than in December 2018. It also represented the highest year-over-year increase for any month of 2019.
Leaders of the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Birmingham, Alabama, up 34.3%; Burlington, Vermont, up 26.7% and Los Angeles, up 26.2%.
Average days on the market remained near the same level as the previous year, with days on the market in December 2019 for 54.
That’s up five days from November’s average but down one day from December 2018’s average.
The metro with the lowest days on the market were Omaha, Nebraska at 24. Homes in Des Moines, Iowa spent the most time on the market, at 110 days.