Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

December 2019 Existing-Home Sales

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this December increased 3.6%. December’s sales of existing homes surged 10.8 % from December 2018. December’s existing-home sales reached a 5.54 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales December 2018 to December 2019

The national median existing-home price for all housing types reached $274,500 in December, up 7.8 percent from a year ago. This is the strongest growth since January 2016. This marks the 94th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: Sales Price of EHS by Region December 2019 and December 2018

Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago. The Midwest had the largest gain of 9.2% followed by the West with an increase of 8.1%. The Northeast had an increase of 7.4% and the South had the smallest gain of 6.7% from December 2018.

December’s inventory figures were down 14.6% from last month standing at 1.40 million homes for sale. Compared with December of 2018, inventory levels were down 8.5%. This would mark seven straight months of year-over-year declines and is a record-setting low since 1999.1 It will take 3.0 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 41 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, down from 46 days a year ago.

Bar chart: Inventory, December 2018 to December 2019

From November 2019, three of the four regions showed increases in sales. The Midwest had the only drop in sales at 1.5%. The Northeast had the biggest gain in sales at 3.6% followed by the South with an increase of 5.4%. The West had the smallest increase of 4.6%.

From a year ago, all four regions showed increases in sales. The South had the biggest increase in sales of 12.4%. The West had a gain of 10.7% followed by the Midwest with an increase of 9.2%. The Northeast had the smallest gain in sales at 8.8%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 42.6 % of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 13.4%.

Bar chart: Regional Sales December 2019 and December 2018

In December, single-family sales were up 2.7% and condominiums sales were up 10.7% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 10.6% while condominium sales were up 12.7% compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 8.0% at $276,900 and condominiums rose 6.0% at $255,400 from December 2018.

1 January 1999 is the start of the data series on inventory of total existing homes (single-family and condominiums/coops) for sale.


Comment Policy

The opinions expressed in reader comments sections on this website are those of the reader and not NAR or REALTOR® Magazine.

About Economists' Outlook

Visit this blog daily to see what NAR experts are saying about the economy, the housing market, and other factors that will impact your business.

Housing Minute

Housing Minute is a monthly video series highlighting the latest housing data from the National Association of REALTORS® in a minute or less.