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ArlingtonReal Estate2021 home sales highest in 15 years

2021 home sales highest in 15 years

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Despite a year-over-year decline in December, U.S. home sales in 2021 stood at their highest point in 15 years, while prices keep on rising, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

In 2021, existing-home sales totaled 6.12 million – an increase of 8.5 percent from the prior year and the highest annual level since 2006 – according to new data from the trade association.

In December, however, single-family home sales dropped 6.8 percent from a year before, with bubbling-up fears about COVID and a lack of inventory largely to blame. Condominium sales in November were down 7 percent from a year before.

Prices, however, kept on rising, with the median sales price of an existing single-family home ($364,300) in December up 16.1 percent from a year before and the median price of an existing condo ($305,100) up 11.9 percent.

At the end of December, the inventory of unsold existing homes fell to an all-time low of 910,000, which is equivalent to 1.8 months of the monthly sales pace, also an all-time low since January 1999. Inventory has been one of the issues holding back sales totals, although the Realtors’ group expects more existing homes to come on the market in spring, easing the logjam.

“I think the positive momentum will continue as the market prepares to finally see more supply in the coming months, meaning more buyers will be able to land their dream home,” said president Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor from Plano, Texas, and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas.

Regionally, December’s year-over-year sales totals were down in all four geographic areas of the country, though by differing amounts:

• Sales in the Northeast were down 15.7 percent from a year before, while the median sales price ($384,600) was up 6.3 percent.

• Sales in the Midwest were down 2.6 percent from a year before, while the median sales price ($256,900) was up 10 percent.

• Sales in the South retreated 5.3 percent from a year before, while the median sales price ($323,000) was up 20.2 percent.

• Sales in the West dropped 10.2 percent from a year before, while the median sales price ($507,100) was up 8.4 percent.

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