The median home sale price closed out the year at an all-time high according to a new report from Redfin. During the four-week period that ended Dec. 26, the median home sale price rose to $361,171, a 14.6% year-over-year increase and nearly 30% higher than the same time period in 2019.
In addition, the median asking price of newly listed homes increased 12.9% from a year ago to $345,348.
These increases in median sale and asking prices comes as inventory hits an all-time low. According to Redfin, the number of active listings fell 26.1% year over year during this period and touring activity was 8.5 percentage points behind that in 2020 based on data obtained from ShowingTime.
“The holiday effect of homebuyers and sellers diverting their time and attention toward travel and celebrations was even more extreme than during the pre-pandemic Christmas week of 2019,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said in a statement. “We see this slowdown as a temporary consequence of the holidays, and not as an indication that homebuyer demand is backing off. Those who did purchase homes over the holidays paid high prices due to the ongoing supply shortage.”
As a result of this dropping inventory, pending home sales are also down, with the National Association of Realtors reporting that pending home sales fell 2.2% month over month in November.
“There was less pending home sales action this time around, which I would ascribe to low housing supply, but also to buyers being hesitant about home prices,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. “While I expect neither a price reduction, nor another year of record-pace price gains, the market will see more inventory in 2022 and that will help some consumers with affordability.”
On top of increases in asking prices, 42.1% of homes sold during this time period sold for above list price, with the average sale-to-list-price ratio coming in at 100.4%. However, some good news for homebuyers is that, on average, 2.8% of homes for sale each week had a price drop, up 0.5 percentage points from a year ago.
The median days on market for homes during this four-week period came in at 26 days, down from 33 days in 2020. In an increase from 2020, 40.3% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on market, up from 35% in 2020, while 29.6% of homes had an accepted offer within the first week on the market, up from 25.3% a year ago.