Housing Market

Here’s why home sales will climb in 2024

Mike Simonsen of Altos Research dives into data showing growth in home sales to close out the year

If you follow real estate data closely, you’ll know that inventory rose late into November. You also know that new listings are up over last year, too. 

However, what you might not know is that home sales are climbing, which is a good sign.

Watch the video above to get the latest housing market update from Altos Research. Short on time? Check out some key data takeaways below for the week ending Nov. 27.

Inventory (finally) peaks for the year

Housing inventory was down by 0.7% from last week. Inventory hit 566,000 homes on the market, meaning there are 0.5% more homes for sale now than last year at this time.

New listings volume is up, too. There were 58,000 new listings this week, with 10,000 of those homes already under contract as immediate sales. A few more sellers appear to be braving the market each week.

Pending sales make a surprising jump

Here’s the surprising data point that stands out: Each week, we’re seeing more new contracts started than last year at this time. We had 52,000 new pending sales this week. That’s 5% more sales initiated than this time a year ago.

There are still fewer total contracts pending now versus last year (296,000 versus 304,000 in 2022), so the headlines will still report low sales for several months.

All year long, we’ve had 20% to 40% fewer sales each week, but now the rate is expansionary with 5% more sales this week than the same week a year ago. However, if mortgage rates were to jump again, we could see sales slip, so it’s a delicate balance. 

Sales may be down, but home prices had a softer landing in 2023

Overall, home sales cratered in 2023, but home prices are up 1% to 3% over 2022 – a trend that looks to continue. The median price of single-family homes in the United States is $425,000.

There’s nothing bullish on the horizon for home prices in 2024. We are likely to see some declines there given economic risks and gently rising home inventory.

Mike Simonsen is the president and founder of Altos Research.

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