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GOOD NEWS FOR HOMEBUYERS: MORE OPTIONS AND QUICK SALES

Monday, January 15, 2024   /   by Richard Eimers

GOOD NEWS FOR HOMEBUYERS: MORE OPTIONS AND QUICK SALES

During the holiday season, while we heard the festive jingles, another sound was resonating - the joyous clinking of keys for newly bought homes. The latest report from Realtor.com® reveals that in December, home shoppers had a whopping 33,251 more real estate listings compared to the same month last year. This marks the second consecutive month of increased homes for sale after a 17-month period of dwindling inventory.


The positive trend includes a 4.9% annual increase in overall inventory, with a significant 9.1% surge in new listings. These fresh options provide a welcome boost to the housing market.


The increase in listings can be attributed to falling mortgage rates. After 17 weeks above 7%, rates dropped below 7% in mid-December, reaching a low of 6.61% on Dec. 28. Lower rates encourage homeowners to explore the market, breaking the trend of staying put due to existing low mortgage rates.


Despite the encouraging numbers, active inventory is still 36% below levels seen in 2017 to 2019, pre-COVID-19.


Home prices have remained stable, with median prices at $410,000 in December, a 1.2% increase from the previous year. While some softening in prices is expected in 2024, a significant decline isn't anticipated due to the ongoing supply-demand imbalance.


Buyers benefitting from friendlier mortgage rates face affordability challenges. In December, the cost of financing 80% of a typical home rose by 6.1% compared to the previous year, translating to an extra $123 per month. This increased the required household income to purchase a median-priced home.


On a positive note, home sales moved swiftly, with homes spending 61 days on the market in December—four days less than the previous year and two weeks shorter than the 2017-2019 average. In larger metros, homes sold even faster, with an average of 55 days.


For budget-conscious homebuyers, the South offers the lowest listing price growth rate at 2.3%, making it an attractive option. The region also saw noteworthy yearly inventory growth of 7.7% in December.


In summary, the housing market is showing positive signs with more choices for buyers, quick sales, and stability in prices, although challenges in affordability persist.

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Beach Road Realty
Richard Eimers
17 Roundwood Drive
Inlet Beach, FL
850-259-1798

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