After a strong performance towards the end of 2021, existing home sales experienced an unanticipated decline in December. Thus, home sales fell 5% from November to December 2021. However, the United States real estate market realized a massive 8.5% improvement over 2020. In doing so, existing home sales achieved their best year since 2006.
Drop in Housing Inventory Reflects Sellers’ Market
Although existing home sales dominated 2021, inventory levels in December decreased 14% from a year ago. Meanwhile, the median existing-home price soared 16% higher this point in 2020. Currently, the median home price is at $358,000.
With the publication of December’s housing inventory data, analysts saw that inventory sits at just a 1.8-month supply nationally. Generally speaking, a 6-month housing supply indicates a balance between home buyers and home sellers. Therefore, the current market definitely reflects a sellers’ market.
Mix of Existing Home Sales Changed
With December’s data coming to light, the mix of existing home sales changed. For properties valued between $100,000 and $250,000 home sales plummeted by 23%. On the other hand, properties valued between $750,000 and $1,000,000 skyrocketed 32% during that same timeframe.
In what’s generally thought of as the entry-level market, prospective home buyers combat rising home appraisals. Concurrently, real estate investors produce stiff competition. In conclusion, first-time home buyers face numerous challenges to finding affordable properties.
Housing Starts Soared to Best Month Since March 2021
Investors closely watched the monthly reports on housing starts as the United States faces a continual lack of housing inventory. Having said that, housing starts unexpectedly increased from November to December. In doing so, housing starts accomplished their best level since March 2021. Additionally, 2021 represents the best year for housing starts since 2006.
On the construction front, single-family properties experienced their highest level in nearly a decade-and-a-half. Because building permits indicate future housing activity, analysts remain optimistic about the real estate market. Having said that, long-standing problems remain prevalent, including higher land prices, material shortages, and a lack of skilled labor.
Existing Home Sales Reflects Strong Real Estate Market
After existing home sales reached their best year since 2006, the housing market looks to continue its momentum in 2022. While the real estate industry faces an age-old housing inventory problem, home prices continue to soar. With inflation simultaneously on the rise, mortgage rates rose to their highest point since early 2020.
To learn more about the 2022 real estate market, get in touch with one of the title and escrow specialists at Plymouth Title Guaranty Corporation.
Information accredited to MBSQuoteline.
Please note: The safety of our staff and clients is our highest priority. Effective immediately, Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. will be taking the following precautions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
All purchase transactions need to take place at a Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. closing office.
- If a party to the closing is not feeling well, please contact your closer before the closing so appropriate precautions can be taken.
- We ask visitors to utilize the restroom in our building upon arrival to thoroughly wash their hands before entering our office.
- Only individuals required to sign and/or deliver documents at closings will be allowed in our office. Specifically, closings will be limited to borrower(s), seller(s), agents, and lenders.
- All pens used in the closing will be given to the client after use.
- All closing rooms will be cleaned and disinfected in-between each closing.
- Those picking up checks at our office will be instructed to call our main line and request to speak to a staff member who will plan for delivery to the lobby or parking lot of our office.
- All staff will refrain from shaking hands before or after closings and ask clients to do the same.
Please be advised that our staffing may be impacted during this unprecedented event. While we are committed to continuing to provide outstanding service, we ask for your patience in the face of this pandemic.