Housing Inventory May be Growing
December marked a turning point in the real estate landscape, as unsold inventory saw its first growth in months. This is according to Realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report, as reported in the December 9th, 2024 issue of ScotsmanGuide.com. The report highlights a 3.6% year-over-year increase in the total number of unsold homes, encompassing those under contract. This positive shift is attributed to the rising trend of newly listed homes, with a notable 9.1% annual increase, alongside a 4.9% boost in active listings compared to December 2022.
While winter typically witnesses reduced activity from home sellers, the data suggests a potential recovery in winter real estate dynamics. Despite remaining 34.3% below pre-pandemic levels, active inventory is showing signs of improvement. The month-over-month decline in inventory from November to December, historically ranging from 6.8% to 13.2%, only saw a 5.5% dip last year over the same period.
Among the country’s 50 largest metros, December witnessed annual inventory growth in 25, with notable spikes in the South. Thirty-four metro areas experienced an increase in new listings compared to December 2022.
However, despite the promising uptick in December inventory levels, the report emphasizes that the current elevated interest rate environment poses a significant obstacle to a substantial supply rebound. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, underscores the importance of considering the prevailing interest rate landscape. While there is optimism regarding inventory levels moving in a positive direction, Hale notes that the number of homes on the market remains low relative to pre-pandemic levels. Some sellers are motivated, but others may hold out for lower rates before making significant real estate decisions.
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