The number of homes that were for sale compared to December of last year are down from 201 new listings in December compared to 263 last year. Not surprisingly however the total number of homes for sale in December came in at 667 compared to last year at 448, almost a 50% increase.
Compared to last month the median sales price of homes came in at $290,000 compared to a median price of $309,000 just last month in November. A 7.2% drop month over month.
Months of inventory rose from 1.5 a year ago to 2.4 for December. This represents a 60% increase in homes for sale since December of 2021.
The original asking price of homes to the eventual selling price also decreased 1.9% from a year ago. In order to keep selling prices at their original asking price many home sellers are offering thousands of dollars in concessions in the form of interest rate buy downs or offering to pay some or all of the buyers closing costs. This bodes well for buyers as they potentially do not have to come up with as much money or can buy down the higher interests rates.
Even though the Federal Reserve raised interest rates a half a point in December the highest level in 15 years, the national average for mortgage rates has dropped to 6.13% from their high of 7.24% in mid November. Inflation seems to be slowing and mortgage rates could continue to come down, “I think we could be surprised at how much mortgage rates pull back this year,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrates chief financial analyst. Some analysts believe that fixed mortgage rates could drop in the 5% range in 2023.
The National Association of Realtors said last week that existing U.S. home sales totaled 5.03 million last year, a 17.8% decline from 2021. That is the weakest year for home sales since 2014 and the biggest annual decline since 2008.
Take a look at last months real estate market analysis here.