The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has just shared that after a few consistent months of increases, existing home sales have seen a dip for the month of December. All of the four major regions across the United States saw a decline which may be mortgage rate induced or could be somewhat normal as things slow for the holidays.
Total existing home sales for single families, condos and townhome style properties has slipped by 6.4% in December which is 10.3% lower than that of the year prior. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist has shared that this activity may be due to a rise in interest rates during last year.
“The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today. Now, with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring.”
For home prices, the median existing home price for the December had increased by 2.9% which is a consistent gain for 82 months. Housing stock was slightly down from the month prior yet were higher than last year at this time. Properties were on the market for 46 days on average during December which was up from 40 from the month before.
“Several consecutive months of rising inventory is a positive development for consumers and could lead to slower home price appreciation,” says Yun. “But there is still a lack of adequate inventory on the lower-priced points and too many in upper-priced points.”
With the holidays completing the year coupled with the recent government shutdown many markets may have indicated a slowdown as we enter 2019. However, with spring market being not too far in the future, time will tell just how much things will increase as they normally do in many areas for the busy season.