2016 closed as being the best year for home sales within the last decade. Although December’s sales were relatively low, 2016 was still the best year yet for home sales.
Existing home sales closed out 2016 as the best year in a decade, despite the decrease in December’s sales, according to the new report from the National Association of Realtors.
Existing home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, finished 2016 at 5.45 million sales, the highest level since 2006.
But, there are problems still.
December struggled with affordability and low levels of supply, bringing down its existing home sales by 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.49 million, down from an upwardly revised 5.65 million in November. This is still an increase of 0.7% from last year.
The median existing home price increased for all housing types in December to $232,200, up 4% from December 2015. This marks the 58th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory dropped 10.8% in December to 1.65 million existing homes available for sale, the lowest level since NAR began tracking housing supply in 1999. Inventory decreased 6.3% from last year and has fallen for 19 consecutive months to a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.
In face, one expert stressed that lack of inventory is one of the most important factors holding back home sales.
First time buyers held steady, making up 32% of the market, the same as November of 2016 and December 2015. housingwire.com