The US housing market ended 2019 on a strong note; here’s how that effects the 2020 local market in both up and down directions.
Existing Home Sales finished the year at a seasonally-adjusted rate (SAAR) of 5.54M units. This represents a double-digit year-over-year lift in sales, and a solid rebound from November’s tepid results.
Sounds like good news, but it comes with side-effects. Tight housing inventory will be a huge challenge in 2020, as house prices continue their upward arc. December’s inventory marks the sixth consecutive month of inventory contraction. A healthy market typically averages 6 months of housing inventory, balancing the buyer/seller exchange; the US market registered a very low 3.0 months in 2019’s final month.
Existing home sales numbers for December 2019:
- EHS +10.8% YoY, vs December 2018
- EHS +3.6% MoM, vs November 2019
- December SAAR: 5.54M units
- Full Year, Units: 5.34M units (flat vs 2018)
- Median Price: $274,500 (+7.8% YoY)
- 94th consecutive month of YoY price increases
- Unsold Inventory: 3.0 months (down from 3.7 YoY)
- Homes sold <1 month: 43%
- First-time buyers: 31% (down 1 point MoM)
NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun:
“Home sellers are positioned well, but prospective buyers aren’t as fortunate. Low inventory remains a problem, with first-time buyers affected the most. Price appreciation has rapidly accelerated, and areas that are relatively unaffordable or declining in affordability are starting to experience slower job growth. The hope is for price appreciation to slow in line with wage growth, which is about 3%.”
Read the full article:
Existing-Home Sales Climb 3.6% in December | www.nar.realtor