According to the National Association of Realtors ® December 2019 report, existing home sales tracked up significantly in the final weeks of the decade, with the adjusted annualized rate of sales totaling 5.54 million, a 3.6 percent month-over-month and 10.8 percent year-over-year improvement. Median home prices nationwide also increased across the board for all housing types, along with existing home sales. In the West, existing home sales increased 10.7 percent over 2018 with a median home price of $411,800, representing an 8.1 percent year over year surge.
Listings moved quickly in December, with average homes sold in December on the market just 41 days, and 43 percent of the homes sold in December were listed less than one month. It continues to be a competitive market for buyers, with 20 percent of sales coming in all-cash, 17 percent closed by second homebuyers or investors, and 31 percent of sales completed by first-time homebuyers. Nationwide, inventory remains low making it difficult for some potential homebuyers to break into the market. However, NAR is expected home sales to rise in 2020, especially with an increase in new housing construction, a strong job market, and low mortgage rates. The pace of buying and selling in 2020 will largely depend on available inventory.