The U.S. housing market has succumbed to its own excess: December booked 11 percent fewer sales than a year earlier, the lowest number since June 2020, because the number of homes on the market fell 19 percent, year on year, to the lowest on record, according to online brokerage Redfin.
The largest declines were in Nassau County, New York, and New Brunswick, New Jersey, where sales were off 22 percent in both areas.
Sales were down in 79 of the 88 metro areas Redfin monitors, with the number of homes on the market declining everywhere except Detroit.
National demand remained strong, however, driving the median sale price last month to $382,900, Redfin reported.
“There are plenty of home buyers on the hunt but there’s just nothing for sale,” Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, told Bloomberg.
“In January, I expect to see more buyers and sellers in the market,” he said, “but demand will increase more than supply, pushing prices higher.”
TREND FORECAST: With interest rates poised to rise, many homeowners who were considering selling this year will put their houses on the market sooner, not later.
The larger supply of available homes, coupled with rising rates, will moderate rising prices, but not greatly: there will still be too few homes to meet demand and those who can afford inflated prices will continue to pay top dollar for the right place.