US home sales soared 3.8% in December

US home sales soared 3.8% in December

U.S. home sales climbed 3.8% in December

WASHINGTON — U.S. home sales climbed 3.8% in December, but a record-low inventory of houses on the market has caused prices to surge amid worsening affordability.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales of existing homes rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million. For all of 2019, 5.34 million homes were sold — matching the 2018 level. High mortgage rates hurt sales in the first half of the last year, while lower rates boosted purchases in the second half.

Sales listings have tumbled 8.5% from a year ago to 1.4 million properties. There are just 3 months’ supply of single-family houses for sale, the lowest level since the Realtors began tracking the number in 1982.

The median sales price has jumped 7.8% over the past year to $274,500.

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