Report: No Market Surprises in December

In keeping with historical seasonal trends, housing inventory and median list price per square foot both declined over the month of December. At the same time, annual changes remained in line with previous years, according to Movoto Real Estate’s State of the Market report released Tuesday.

The online real estate broker, based in San Mateo, California, said there were “no surprises” in the December numbers.

Median list price per square foot rose 10.4 percent over the year in December while falling slightly from the month of November. December’s median list price per square foot was $176, up from $159 in December 2012 but down from $179 in November, according to Movoto.

“This is in line with real estate trends,” Movoto said in its report. “Typically, home prices remain flat or decline between November and December.”

The company also noted that the annual increase in December was one of the smallest yearly gains reported for

2013, following a trend of decelerating home price appreciation that started in June.

Thirty-three of the 38 cities Movoto observes recorded annual price gains in December with 17 posting double-digit increases.

The greatest home price appreciation year-over-year in December took place in Boston, Massachusetts (27 percent), followed by Sacramento, California (21 percent), and Phoenix, Arizona (20 percent).

A few of the 38 cities Movoto tracks posted declining prices in December, including Colorado Springs, Colorado (-7 percent); Denver, Colorado (-3.1 percent); Cleveland, Ohio (-2.1 percent); and Memphis, Tennessee (-1.5 percent).

Housing inventory across the nation increased over the course of 2013, with 96,495 homes on the market in December, according to Movoto. That’s up from 92,735 homes for sale at the end of December 2012.

Inventory ticked down on a monthly basis, however, falling from 105,291 for-sale opportunities in November, according to Movoto’s market data. The month-over-month decrease of 8.4 percent is in keeping with the 8 percent decline that took place from November to December in 2012, the company reported.

On an annual basis, 20 of the 38 cities covered in Movoto’s study experienced rising inventories in December. The greatest increases took place in Sacramento, California (92 percent); Las Vegas, Nevada (83 percent); and San Diego, California (57 percent).

The greatest declines were seen in Houston, Texas (-19 percent); Boston, Massachusetts (-18.2 percent); and San Francisco, California (-17.3 percent).



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