Home sales

Home sales in the United States register the largest drop since the start of the pandemic

Record high inventories drove seasonally-adjusted home sales down 3.6% nationwide in December, according to a new Redfin report released Friday.

Record inventories drove seasonally-adjusted home sales down 3.6% nationwide in December, according to a Redfin report.

This is the largest month-over-month decline since the start of the pandemic. But it’s not because buyers have left the market. Homes sold quickly and at a premium, but lower year-over-year inventory led to lower sales.

“There are a lot of homebuyers out there looking,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in A declaration“but there’s just nothing to sell.”

The lack of inventory in markets nationwide led to the biggest drop in monthly sales since May 2020, the brokerage reported. The number of new listings fell from the previous year in 82 of the 88 major metropolitan areas. Already record prices continued to climb across the country.

Home sales were down 11% year over year and in all but nine of the 88 major metropolitan areas tracked by Redfin.

The largest year-over-year declines in active listings for the month were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, San Jose, California and San Francisco. Detroit saw a 4% increase in active listings.

“In many markets, buying a house is like going to the grocery store to find the shelves bare,” Fairweather said.

The median selling price rose year-over-year in all markets except Bridgeport, Conn., where prices fell 0.4%. And 43% of homes sold above list price in December. Home prices are up 15% year over year.

Look forward

Several economists expect stocks to improve early this year as sellers come on the list as mortgage rates continue to climb.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman Last week said a higher number of in-home viewings indicated sellers were ready to sign up.

Many economists told Inman that although the market is cooling slightly compared to 2021, pent-up demand is expected to keep the market extremely competitive among buyers.

“In January, I expect to see more buyers and sellers in the market,” Fairweather said, “but demand will increase more than supply, which will push prices higher at the start of this year.”

Email Taylor Anderson