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December home sales rebound, end year strong

Staff writer |
After two consecutive months with falling home sales, December roared back with 6.1% more sales than one year ago.

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On a month-over-month basis, December sales were much higher than expected at 22.5%. In all of 2015, nine months saw home sales higher than the same month one year ago. December appeared to continue the trend of moderating home prices, with a year-over year gain of 5.3% while the 2015 average was 7.6%.

The median price of all homes sold in December was $206,000. The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many metros across the country, at a level that is 14.2% lower than December 2014. At the rate of home sales in December, the national Months Supply of Inventory was 4.9, down from 5.7 one year ago.

In the 53 metro areas surveyed in December, the average number of home sales increased 22.5% from sales in November, and were also 6.1% higher than the number of sales one year ago. Since January, year-over-year sales have increased an average of 4.8% each month.

For the last eight years, the average seasonal increase in sales from November to December has been 6.9%. This December's month-over month increase was nearly four times that amount.

In December, 43 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis with 14 experiencing double-digit increases, such as Boise, ID +23.8%, Manchester, NH +22.9%, Las Vegas, NV +18.7%, Albuquerque, NM +18.3%, St. Louis, MO +14.3% and Portland, OR +13.9%.


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