DENVER— December posted a record finish to a year and a decade, with a year-over-year increase in home sales of 13.5% in the 54 metro areas covered by the report. That was the highest increase of any month in 2019, and the highest for the month of December since 2009.
Also posting a record for 2019 was the inventory decline of 14.5% year-over-year, accompanied by corresponding drops in Months Supply of Inventory – 3.3 vs. 4.8 a year earlier – and Days on Market – 54 compared to 55 a year ago.
“It was good to see the year-over-year spike in December home sales, indicating robust homebuyer interest,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “The strong December capped a solid second half of 2019, with year-over-year sales increases in four of the final six months. The gains were largely attributable to low interest rates and high demand, and with those factors still in place, we expect sales to continue at a solid pace into the first part of this year.”
Year-over-year, sales were up five months in 2019, with the majority occurring in the back half of the year. Inventory, meanwhile, grew year-over-year in each of the first six months, then shrunk in each of the last six months.
The Median Sales Price of $266,000 was 11.1% higher than December 2018 and the highest year-over-year increase for any month of 2019.
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in December 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 4.1% compared to November 2019, and up 13.5% compared to December 2018. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Birmingham, AL at +34.3%, Burlington, VT at +26.7%, and Los Angeles, CA at +26.2%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices
In December 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $266,000, up 3.8% from November 2019, and up 11.1% from December 2018. Only one metro area, Burlington, VT at -3.3%, saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Fourteen metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Birmingham, AL at +19.9%, Trenton, NJ at +19.1%, and Honolulu, HI at +15.3%.
Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in December 2019 was 54, up five days from the average in November 2019, and down one day from the average in December 2018. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 24, Nashville, TN at 31, and Cincinnati, OH at 34. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 110, and a tie between Augusta, ME and Hartford, CT at 89. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in December 2019 was down 13.7% from November 2019 and down 14.5% from December 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in December 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 3.3 compared to 3.5 in November 2019, and decreased compared to 4.8 in December 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In December 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, two metro areas, Miami, FL at 8.9 and Augusta, ME at 6.4, reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were San Francisco, CA at 1.4, Salt Lake City, UT at 1.6, and Denver, CO at 1.7.
About the RE/MAX Network
As one of the leading global real estate franchisors, RE/MAX, LLC is a subsidiary of RE/MAX Holdings (NYSE: RMAX) with over 125,000 agents in more than 110 countries and territories. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX, as measured by residential transaction sides. Dedicated to innovation and change in the real estate industry, RE/MAX launched Motto Mortgage, a ground-breaking mortgage franchisor, in 2016 and acquired booj, a real estate technology company, in 2018. RE/MAX agents have lived, worked and served in their local communities for decades, raising millions of dollars every year for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. To learn more about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.com. For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit https://news.remax.com/.
The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 54 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Months Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (current inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median of the median sales prices in each of the metro areas included in the survey.
MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.