Redfin found that the median sale price for the markets it serves was $287,000 during the month. While sales growth fluctuated throughout 2017, sales ended the year at the lower end with a decline of 2.8%. December marked the 27th consecutive month of inventory declines, with the number of homes for sale falling 14.5% year over year.
"Like last year, low inventory will be the biggest driver of the 2018 real estate market," Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson said. "Major housing market dynamics don't shift dramatically when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1. We anticipate a continuation of the same trends we've been seeing for the past few years. Price growth will remain strong as many homeowners will remain deterred from selling due to the low mortgage rates they've locked in and the high price of their would-be move-up home."
San Jose, Calif., was the fastest and most competitive market in December, Redfin found. The city also had the highest year-over-year price growth and the biggest inventory decline.
A typical San Jose home found a buyer in a median of 12 days, compared with 39 days in December 2016. Prices in the city rose 31.9% since last year to about $1.1 million, and inventory fell 51.5% since last December. Redfin further found that 76.2% of San Jose homes sold above the list price. Also, the city had only 0.5 months of supply in December, the lowest monthly supply Redfin has recorded in any metro area.
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Home prices showed strong growth at the end of 2017, rising 6.8% in December compared to the year-ago level, according to Redfin.