Existing-home sales cooled in December, down 1% from the month before and 6.2% from a year prior. 2023 ended with existing-home sales plummeting to 4.09 million, a 28-year low, according to the latest monthly National Association of Realtors® (NAR) data. At the same time, median home prices soared in 2023 to a record high of $389,800. “The latest month’s sales look to be the bottom before inevitably turning higher in the new year,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, in the report. “Mortgage rates are meaningfully lower compared to just two months ago, and more inventory is expected to appear on the market in upcoming months.” Despite weak existing-home sales, pending sales data provided cause for optimism for a turnaround in 2024. The Pending Homes Sales Index jumped up 8.3% in December compared to the month before. Pending sales are an indicator of future existing-home sales. “The housing market is off to a good start this year, as consumers benefit from falling mortgage rates and stable home prices,” said Yun, in the report. However, Yun noted that a meaningful increase in resale inventory will be pivotal to support the bump in demand that experts anticipate declining mortgage rates will stimulate.
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