RALEIGH – The number of available homes for sale, or the inventory of homes on the open market, already at historic lows, fell again in the month of December, with the equivalent of 177,000 fewer homes across the country for sale on each day in December, a new analysis of real estate data from Realtor.com concluded.
The drop in available homes for sale was nearly twice as steep in Raleigh as it was nationally, with the year-over-year decrease of 50.1% of listings in December 2021 compared to December 2020, the analysis found.
According to the analysis, nationally, the inventory of available homes dropped by 26.8% in December 2021 when compared to December 2020, a steeper decrease than the 26% drop comparing November 2021 with November 2020.
A second newly released report, this one from Redfin, notes that the housing market began 2022 with fewer homes for sale nationally “than ever before,” and found that active listings fell by 27% nationally compared to the same period during the prior year. (Redfin’s data tracks the four weeks ending on January 2.)
It’s the third month in a row where “the rate of decline compared to last year has worsened,” the report reads.
Part of the decline in inventory is because fewer sellers listed their homes for sale in December 2021 compared to December 2020, the report found. Newly listed homes decreased by 6.1% in December, and sellers listed at rates 12.9% lower than what the report calls “typical of 2017 to 2019 levels.”
In Raleigh, the decrease of new listings coming on the market in December 2021 was down four times the national rate, 24.1%, according to the Realtor.com report.
But demand remains high nationally, according to the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index, and was up 18% from a year earlier, the report found. Further, the final week in the period analyzed saw demand increase 7% from the prior week, according to the index.
Those homes that were listed were at a higher median price in 2021 compared to 2020, the report found, with the median list price across the nation of $375,000, up 10% from the median list price in December 2020.
Further, the analysis found, for December 2021, the “median listing price for a typical 2,000-square-foot single family home rose 18.6% compared to last year.”
In the Raleigh area, which does not include Durham County or Orange County, but does include Wake County, Johnston County and Franklin County, the median listing price of a home was $420,000, up 9.1% from a year ago, the report states.
Across the Raleigh metropolitan statistical area, the analysis found that the median number of days a property on the open market in December 2021 was 33, down from a median of 51 days on market in December 2020.
Yet, homes are still selling in the region, and Raleigh was predicted to be the third hottest market of 2022 by Zillow in a report issued earlier this week. A new analysis of local market data conducted by the iBuyer Opendoor found that the zip codes where the most homes were sold in all of 2021 include those in Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Clayton, Garner and Wake Forest.
“Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina are all suburbs of Raleigh Durham that are growing rapidly,” said Jon Enberg, Carolinas General Manager for Opendoor. “We’re seeing a lot of construction, new shopping centers, parks and town amenities for young families. Many are moving to the area as first-time homebuyers or young families needing more space and looking for an upgrade.”