The Redfin Real-Time Price Tracker is a monthly report on home prices, sales and inventory across 19 U.S. markets, published weeks before any other index, based on the local databases used directly by real estate agents to list properties and record sales.
Home prices, sales, and listings all fell between November and December as the housing market weathered the usually-slow holiday season with a smaller dip in prices than the same time a year ago. Listings continued to drop, falling to a level 33 percent below December 2011 and 44 percent below December 2010. Thanks to the lack of homes on the market to buy, sales fell to their lowest level in 10 months, but still closed out the year slightly ahead of 2011.
Despite consistent home price gains since February, homeowners are still reluctant to list their homes for sale. Meanwhile, builders are moving to fill the gap, as data released last week show that private residential construction spending increased again in November.
The key metrics across 19 major metropolitan markets are:
- Home sales ended the year in the black, up 3.4% from a year ago, and down 4.1% from November. For 2012 as a whole, sales were up 9% from the total number of sales in 2011.
- Home prices in December increased 11.3% year over year, but fell slightly month-over-month, losing 0.4% from November (a slight dip in prices is typical for this time of year).
- The number of homes for sale declined 33.0% from December 2011 to December 2012 (worse still than the 30.1% drop in November), and declined by 11.5% since November.
- The percentage of listings that were under contract within 14 days of their debut was flat for the third month in a row at 27.5% in December. For 2012 as a whole, 26% of listings were under contract within 14 days, up nine points from the 17% figure for 2011.
With some notable exceptions (mostly in California), the current housing market in most areas could hardly be described as “hot,” but it is definitely still a frustrating one for potential buyers, with sparse selection, persistent multiple offer situations, and increasing prices in every market we track. For homeowners whose equity affords them the ability to sell, 2013 is shaping up to be a good year to list.
Sales Volume Dips Again, Finishes 2012 Barely Above 2011
Home sales declined between November and December, a flip from the last two years, which each saw sales increase over the same period. It is likely that the extreme lack of homes on the market is putting a damper on sales, and the economic uncertainty surrounding the “fiscal cliff” in December most likely didn’t help sales either, with over a quarter of people we surveyed indicating that they were being more cautious or putting their home search on hold entirely. Despite this dip, home sales were up slightly over a year earlier.
Fifteen of the 19 markets we track saw sales increase from a year ago, while just five increased between November and December.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses Sold||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Home Prices Up from 2011 in All 19 Cities For Second Consecutive Month
Nationally, home prices in December were 11.3 percent higher than a year earlier. This is the ninth month in a row that national prices have increased year-over-year, and the second consecutive month that year-over-year prices increased in all nineteen cities we measure. National prices fell slightly month-over-month, losing 0.4 percent. Seven of the 19 metro areas that Redfin measures saw month-over-month increases in December, down from sixteen metros showing an increase in November.
Phoenix and San Jose continued to lead the pack in year-over-year price increases, gaining 29 percent and 23 percent, respectively. The smallest gains were in Chicago and Long Island, where prices increased just 1 percent.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||Median $/SqFt||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Inventory Falls 33% From 2011
The selection of homes on the market got even slimmer in December as the total number of homes for sale fell 33.0 percent compared to a year earlier. At the close of the year there were fewer than 160,000 total listings across the 19 metro areas covered by the report. Inventory has now been dropping year-over-year for 22 months in a row.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses for Sale||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Fast-Selling Listings Holding Steady
From December 1 through 24 (14 days before the data was collected), 27.5 percent of new listings were under contract in two weeks or less, virtually no change from November or October. Having a number this high going into the new year does not bode well for buyers hoping that this coming spring will be a less stressful time to buy a home than spring 2012.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||% Sold within 14 Days of Debut|
About the Real-Time Home Price Tracker
Redfin’s monthly report on home prices, inventory levels and sales volume is an up-to-date, accurate portrait of the U.S. real estate market, coming weeks or months ahead of other market reports. As a broker with access to dozens of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) used by real estate agents to list properties and record sales, Redfin gets data within minutes of a sale, pending sale or listing activation, well before any government, media or analytics organization. Using MLS fields, Redfin is able to distinguish houses from condominiums and townhouses — which often sell for less money.
To validate the accuracy of the data and to account for sales not handled by a real estate agent, Redfin compares MLS data with county records as they become available, using sophisticated algorithms to identify and resolve disparities about square footage or price for each address. Full data may be downloaded in a spreadsheet, and the report methodology is available as an Adobe document.