Nationwide housing inventory dipped to record-low levels in the final months of 2021, and waning supply is reigniting home price appreciation at the start of 2022, Zillow reports. After a modest drop in November, housing inventory suffered a steep decline in December, falling 40.5% compared to December 2019 with just 923,000 available homes across the nation. The December Zillow Home Value Index rose 19.6% from the previous year at an all-time high of $320,662. If December’s monthly price growth remains constant throughout 2022, the annual growth rate could jump another 17.7%, but deceleration is likely to grant some relief to a frenzied market.
In June, the typical U.S. home spent just one week on the market before going under agreement. That time frame has risen every month since, to roughly 13 days in December (up from about 11 in November). It’s worth noting that homes typically take longer to sell in the fall and winter months as back-to-school, shorter days and the holiday season all tend to eat into both buyers’ and sellers’ schedules. But while homes staying on the market less than two weeks before selling is still incredibly fast for midwinter, those extra few days may matter a lot to those buyers that need a little more time to assess their options.
Along with a longer time on market, there is also typically a drop-off in homeowners putting their properties up for sale in December. But the 18.9% monthly drop in newly listed inventory last month was the largest in the last three years. The rise of the omicron variant of coronavirus could be partially responsible, pushing homeowners to wait for case counts to subside before listing.