NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this December rose modestly 0.7% from November 2020. December’s existing-home sales reached a 6.76 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, and rose 22.2% from December 2019. The pandemic took some steam out of a typically busy first quarter in 2020, then robust sales followed to close out the year. Total existing-home sales rose to 5.64 million in 2020, up 5.6% from the prior year, with all regions showing sales gains. The annual sales figure is the highest level since 2006 when existing home sales totaled 6.477 million.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $309,800 in December, up 12.9% percent from a year ago. Home prices have continued to escalate, and this marks the 106th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Regionally, all four regions showed double-digit price growth from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest gain of 19.0% followed by the West with an incline of 14.2%. The Midwest showed an increase of 13.7% and the South had the smallest price gain of 11.3% from December 2019.
December’s inventory figures dropped 16.4% from last month standing at 1.07 million homes for sale. Compared with December of 2019, inventory levels dropped 23.0%. This would mark 19 straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 1.9 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace.
It takes approximately 21 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 41 days.
From November 2020, two of the four regions had inclines in sales, while the West was flat. The Northeast had the largest gain of 4.5% followed by the South with an incline of 1.1%. The West had had the only decline of 1.4%.
From a year ago, all four regions showed double-digit inclines in sales. The Northeast region had the largest gain of 27.4%. The Midwest had an increase in sales of 26.2% followed by the South with a rise of 26.2%. The West had the smallest gain of 17.9%.
The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 42.3% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 13.8%.
In December, single-family sales were up 0.7% and condominiums sales were up 1.4% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 22.8% while condominium sales were up 17.7% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose 13.5% at $314,300 from December 2019, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 6.9% at $272,200.