Existing-Home Sales Fell Steadily Throughout 2022 and Into December
Thursday Jan 26th, 2023
By: Michael Hyman
NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this December declined 1.5% from November 2022. December’s existing-home sales reached a 4.02 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. December’s sales of existing homes weakened by 34.0% from December 2021, marking eleven consecutive months of home sales declines. December’s annual figure of 5.03 was the lowest since 2014 when the sales pace was at 4.94 million.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types reached $366,900 in December, up 2.3% from a year ago. Home prices have continued to climb, marking the 130th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The annual median price for 2022 was $386,300, up %10.2 from a year ago.
- Regionally, in December, three of the four regions showed price growth from a year ago. The West region was flat. The South had the most significant gain of 3.5%, followed by the Midwest, with an increase of 2.9%. The Northeast region had the smallest price gain of 1.6% from December 2021.
- December’s inventory of unsold listings as of the end of the month fell 13.4% from last month, standing at 970,000 homes for sale. Compared with December of 2021, inventory levels were up 10.2%. It will take 2.9 months to move the current inventory level at the current sales pace, well below the desired pace of 6 months.
- Higher mortgage rates and a lack of inventory have contributed to fewer options for home buyers. It takes approximately 26 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 19 days.
- From a year ago, all four regions had double-digit declines in sales in December. The West had the biggest dip of 43.4%, followed by the South, which fell 33.1%. The Midwest decreased by 30.3%, followed by the Northeast, down by 28.8%.
- Compared to November 2022, three of the four showed reductions in sales. The West region was flat with no change in sales. The South had the largest decline of 2.2%, followed by the Northeast, with a decrease of 1.9%. The Midwest region had the smallest dip in sales at 1.0%.
- The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 44.8% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.9%.
- In December, single-family sales decreased by 1.1%, and condominium sales fell by 4.5% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were 33.5%, while condominium sales fell 38.2% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 2.0% at $372,700 from December 2021, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 3.3% at $317,200.