New Listings Improve As Inventory Falls

The number of homes for sale was already low at the beginning of 2020. It only got worse from there. The pandemic, along with surging buyer demand, led to fewer choices and higher prices for hopeful home buyers. Homes sold quickly as competition spiked. But where was for-sale inventory at the end of the year? Well, according to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS’® consumer website, the number of homes for sale was down 39.6 percent year-over-year in December, hitting an all-time low. But there may be relief on the way. The number of new listings improved during the month and was just 0.8 percent lower than the year before. This hints at a possible improvement in the coming months. Danielle Hale, the website’s chief economist, says any gains will likely take until the second half of 2021. “While December’s data points to possible relief on the horizon, this figure has been impacted the most in areas with large COVID surges, and consistent improvement will be key in order to get out of this extreme shortage,” Hale said. “We eventually expect to see improvements in the supply of homes for sale, especially in the second half of the year.” (source)