U.S housing demand withered in the final months of 2017 as inadequate supply put off buyers, according to a report from Redfin on Tuesday.
The online property broker’s proprietary housing index fell 0.6% from November to December as the site recorded fewer inquiries and offers. Redfin bases its index on thousands of customers requesting tours and making offers through the site, and then adjusting for seasonal changes.
Requests for home tours dropped 2.4% between November and December, and the number of offers dropped 1.8% month to month, according to the site’s figures.
Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said buyer interest “wilted in the face of low inventory.”
The housing market, she said, “ended 2017 with 170,000 fewer listings than it had a year earlier, which means there were fewer homes for buyers to tour and make offers on,” she said in the report. “For the fourth consecutive year, inventory will be the major factor shaping the housing market in 2018.”
Redfin’s index is based on 15 markets, and while the brokerage does not break out luxury, expensive metropolises like San Francisco and Los Angeles are included in the data.
While there is plenty of house hunting, fewer potential buyers are making offers, according to Redfin data.
The number of buyers requesting tours rose 16.7% year-over-year, but offers have slumped 5.6%, according to the firm.
December marked the 31st consecutive month of falling inventory.
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