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Real Estate

U.S. Home Sales Tumble Most in 18 Months With Listings Scarce

  • Deals fell 11% in December from a year earlier, Redfin says
  • Demand for purchases is still intense, pushing prices higher
Homes under construction in Sumter, South Carolina.

Homes under construction in Sumter, South Carolina.

Photographer: Micah Green/Bloomberg

U.S. home sales in December had their biggest plunge since the early months of the Covid-19 lockdowns as listings sank to record lows.

Transactions fell 11% from a year earlier, the biggest annual decline since June 2020, according to a report Friday by Redfin Corp. Demand is still fierce, but what’s holding back deals is a lack of inventory: Active listings -- homes for sale at any time during the month -- fell 19% year-over-year to an all-time low. Meanwhile, prices jumped 15% to a median of $382,900.