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Home Sales Closed December With a Bang

Home sales during December increased by 6.2% from the previous month and soared by 21.9% from one year earlier, according to new data released by RE/MAX.

Last month was the fifth in highest number of home sales for 2020, and its sales exceeded all but two months of 2019. In the 53 metro areas surveyed by RE/MAX for its data report, the greatest year-over-year sales percentage increases were recorded in Los Angeles (42.7%), New York City (40.6%), and Connecticut’s capital city of Hartford (39.0%).

“The very strong sales total in December–over 20% higher than a year earlier–reflects just how frenzied the market was as we entered 2021,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings Inc. “And when you look at the entire last half of the year, you see sky-high demand for housing across the country.”

The median of all 53 metros’ median sales prices in December was $290,000, unchanged from November and up by 9.4% from December 2019. Thirty-six metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, most notably Augusta, Maine (26.6%), Boise, Idaho (23.8%), and Detroit (19.2%).

“Buyers are dismissing the potential constraints of rising prices and limited inventory to boldly move ahead with their plans to purchase and own a home,” added Contos. “We think that says a lot about the lasting appeal of homeownership. Many people want to own their home, not rent, and the low interest rate environment is helping them do it.”

The average number of days on the market for homes sold in December was 37, up one day from November but down 16 days from one year earlier. The number of homes for sale in December was down 17.9% from the previous month and down 33% from the previous year. December 2019. December recorded a 1.8-month supply of inventory, down from 2.1-months in November 2020 and 3.9-months in in December 2019.

Despite a low inventory, Contos predicted, “We expect to see more sellers enter the market this year as they take advantage of the favorable conditions and the greater mobility of working remotely. That, along with gains in construction, would help create more options for buyers, leading to what could be a very big year for sales.”

About Author: Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire.
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