Chattanooga home sales rise to record high in 2016

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"Importantly, and despite the slip in sales, the inventory of homes for sale fell to the lowest level in the 17 years for which data is available", Nationwide Chief Economist David Berson said.

The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.20 in December, the highest since April 2014 and up from 3.77 percent in November. Low housing supplies continue to press on the market. The decline came after sales rose to the fastest pace in almost 10 years in November, hitting a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.61 million.

"While a lack of listings and fast rising home prices was a headwind all year, the surge in rates since early November ultimately caught some prospective buyers off guard and dimmed their appetite or ability to buy a home as 2016 came to an end", Yun said. In December, first-time buyers were 32% of sales; however, historically, they have been around 40%.

Ohio's housing marked closed out its busiest year since 2005 in December, despite a nationwide sales slowdown as winter weather set in. The sales price for single-family homes increased by 3.8 percentage points to $233,500. This is still an increase of 0.7% from previous year.

Most homes that are bought and sold in the USA are not brand new, making this the most active segment of the market.

The median house price increased 4.0 percent from a year ago to $232,200 last month. "Given current population and economic growth trends, housing starts should be in the range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million completions and not stuck at recessionary levels".

Last month, the number of homes on the market fell 10.8 percent from November to 1.65 million units, the lowest level since December 1999. Their forecast meant 5.52 million units but the numbers were 5.49 million units.

Median price: $207,600, a 6.5 percent year-over-year increase.

But real estate experts warn the shrinking inventory of homes on the market and the likelihood of higher interest rates this year could slow growth in the real estate market later this year. This would have been a decline of 1.1 percent compared to the 5.61 million unit pace that was originally reported for November. In December, the inventory of homes for sale in the Chicago area dropped 19.1 percent. DuPage experienced a 3.5 percent decline in sales, though its median price increased 4.6 percent to $251,050.

Commerce Department figures released last week, however, showed that new home construction had rocketed 11 percent.

While the Realtors group is forecasting existing home sales increasing one percent this year to 5.52 million units, it expressed concerns over President Donald Trump's suspension last Saturday of a plan by the Obama administration to cut mortgage insurance premiums on federally insured home loans.

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