The 12.6 percent year-over-year decrease in the amount of available homes for sale in December did not dissuade buyers from attempting to purchase a home, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.
The Redfin Real-Time Housing Market Tracker for December discovered that one-third of all homes sold within the month were under contract within two weeks. Redfin attributes this to the fact that the amount of brand-new homes available for sale, and the supply of homes for sale in general, is quite limited, leading to a substantial increase in demand when compared to previous periods.
Indeed, the Redfin Housing Demand Index for December, which tracks the number of Redfin customers who requested home tours or wrote offers to buy a home within a certain month, shows that December in particular was a remarkably high month for housing demand, increasing 15.1 percent when compared to November.
This increase carried the December Index to a seasonally-adjusted level of 124, the highest that has been seen since Redfin began tracking such data in January 2013. The report notes that a level of 100 represents the historical average of the three-year period from January 2013 to December 2015.
“In general, buyers are attracted to brand-new listings,” stated Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “In December, we started seeing homes that spent time on the market, perhaps because they were not in the hottest neighborhood or needed renovation, finally get offers,” continued Richardson.
The level seen in December was a 26.3 percent increase year-over-year when compared to December 2015, which was mostly due to the 36.4 percent YOY increase in requests for home tours and a 10.2 percent YOY increase in the number of written offers to buy a home.
“Based on the number of sellers who’ve contacted Redfin this month, we expect a sizeable increase in new listings in the next two months. With new listings on the way and this year’s buyers willing to take a look at older inventory, we anticipate that sales in early 2017 will be strong,” concluded Richardson.