US home sales plummet, adding to fears of 2019 slowdown

The 10% drop in December ended a year that was weakest for existing home sales since 2015

National /
Jan.January 22, 2019 01:00 PM

Home sales fell in December

The number of homes sold dropped sharply in December, raising fears that 2019 will be marked by a continued slowdown in the U.S. housing market.

Sales of existing homes dropped 10.3 percent last month compared to the same time in 2017, and 6.4 percent from November, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors, cited in the Wall Street Journal. Many markets saw double-digit declines in existing home sales, including much of California, Seattle, Denver, Maryland, Delaware and Philadelphia, according to the report.

Last month wrapped up the weakest year for home sales since 2015. The market slowed particularly in the second half of the year amid rising interest rates and a greater uncertainty about the stock market and economy at large.

In Chicago, home sales in December fell 16.5 percent year over year, ending a 2018 that saw overall sales drop 3.7 percent and home prices rise 3.2 percent.

December also saw price growth slow, as sellers cut their asks in hopes of getting reluctant buyers to bite. Prices grew 1.2 percent in December, a six-year low, according to Redfin. It predicted the cooling off from the second half of 2018 will continue into this year, with housing inventory rising and price growth continuing to pull back.

Fewer people think now is a good time to buy a home than at any time at least in the past three years, according to a recent survey by the Realtors association. [WSJ]John O’Brien


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
1919 North Howe Street (Photo via Realtor)
12K sf Lincoln Park mansion sells for $12M
12K sf Lincoln Park mansion sells for $12M
1917 North Howe Street (Google Maps)
Lincoln Park mansion sells for record-breaking $11.9M
Lincoln Park mansion sells for record-breaking $11.9M
An aerial of the 3.3 acre lot in Winnetka (Google Maps)
Lake Michigan lot to sell for record-breaking $24M
Lake Michigan lot to sell for record-breaking $24M
203 Sheridan Road (Redfin)
Here are Chicago’s priciest residential sales of 2020
Here are Chicago’s priciest residential sales of 2020
Toni Preckwinkle (Getty)
Cook County provides $1M to limit evictions, foreclosures
Cook County provides $1M to limit evictions, foreclosures
1247-1249 W. Madison Street (Photos via @properties)
Dwelle Properties pays $33M for West Loop mixed-use complex
Dwelle Properties pays $33M for West Loop mixed-use complex
Plaza on DeWitt, 260 E. Chestnut Street
Downtown condo ponders mask mandate, big penalties
Downtown condo ponders mask mandate, big penalties
Homebuyers have flocked to Bronzeville (Credit: Google Maps)
Chicago homebuyers head to Bronzeville for more space
Chicago homebuyers head to Bronzeville for more space
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...