Home sales fell back across most of the US in December 2017

Existing home sales fell back in most parts of the United States in December but overall still increased by 1.1% year on year and 2017 was the best year since 2006, the latest index shows.

However, month on month sales in December fell by 3.6%, according to the data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). But prices have remained strong up 5.8% compared to December 2016 to a median of £246,800.

‘New listings struggled to keep up with what was sold very quickly, and buying became less affordable in a large swath of the country. These two factors ultimately muted what should have been a stronger sales pace,’ said Yun.

‘Closings scaled back in most areas last month for this same reason. Affordability pressures persisted, and the pool of interested buyers at the end of the year significantly outweighed what was available for sale,’ he added.

Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 11.4% to 1.48 million existing homes available for sale and is now 10.3% lower than a year ago and has fallen year on year for 31 consecutive months.

Unsold inventory is at a 3.2 month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 3.6 months a year ago and is the lowest level since NAR began tracking in 1999. ‘The lack of supply over the past year has been eye opening and is why, even with strong job creation pushing wages higher, home price gains doubled the pace of income growth and were even swifter in several markets,’ Yun pointed out.

The index also shows that single family home sales fell by 2.6% but are still 1% above the a year ago with a median price of $248,100, up 5.8 percent from December 2016 while condominium and co-op sales fell 11.6% but are still 1.7% above a year ago with a median price of $236,500, some 6.4% above a year ago.

A regional breakdown of the figures show that in the North East sales fell by 7.7% and are now 2.6% below a year ago with a median price of $261,400 which is 3% higher than December 2016.
In the Midwest sales fell by 6.3% but are still 1.5% above a year ago with a median price of $191,400, up 7.8% year on year while in the South sales fell 1.7% but are still 3.1% higher than a year ago with a median price of 221,200, up 5.8% year on year.

Sales in the West fell 1.6% and are now 0.8% below a year ago with a median price of $367,400, up 7.3% from December 2016.

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