The median list price for December 2013 was 8.1 percent above December 2012, according to the data. The median age of inventory was down by 5.1 percent and the number of units for sale was essentially unchanged — all positive signs of a stronger market compared to December 2012.
The report also showed some month-over-month slowdowns typical of the winter home-buying season. The total inventory of homes for sale in the United States declined from 1,846,155 units in November to 1,731,017 units in December. Age of inventory rose from 101 to 112 days, and the median list price declined from $197,700 to $194,500.
“As we open the new year, the first-quarter inventory figures are especially crucial as our first barometer into seller confidence for the 2014 home buying season,” said Errol Samuelson, president of realtor.com®. “The market is still showing significant demand, but in order to have a strong home buying season, sellers need to put their homes on the market.”
Other factors could affect consumers when it comes to 2014 housing. The National Association of REALTORS® recently highlighted concern about the effect of the Qualified Mortgage rules that came into effect in January 2014, which may further decrease credit availability. Another fear was the impact that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act this month could have on consumer finances.