U.S. Existing Home Sales Jump to Highest Levels in 2 Yrs.

U.S. existing-home sales leaped higher in December to set their best pace since early 2018.

New data released Wednesday morning by the National Association of Realtors showed sales of previously-owned homes stateside gained 3.6% last month after a moderate decline in November, reaching an adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million. Median sale price jumped to $274,500, a 7.8% increase from the year-ago period as construction of new homes was outpaced by buyer demand.

NAR also said total housing inventory reached 1.4 million units at the end of 2019, 8.5% lower compared to the year-ago period. Unsold inventory has fallen for seven straight months from their year-ago levels, signaling continued strain on the housing market.

At the current pace of home sales, it would take only three months to sell all the homes on the market, down from 3.7 months in November.