And what questions it leaves us.
First, a reminder about what we cover. Our statistics are from our database constructed from MLS statistics, covering single family homes and homes with acreages up to 2 acres of land, townhomes and condominiums. Some services that cover only detached single family homes will have slightly different statistics. We believe it is more informative to include all the main choices that buyers have, especially as housing forms change over time.
The year ended with only 379 such properties on the market, the lowest number we can remember. Inventory at the end of 2019 was 3.3 times more than it was at the end of 2020 and gives us approximately 12 days of available homes.
Despite the low inventory, sales during the month of December were 6% higher than they were in December, 2019. Perhaps even more astounding is that pending contracts were up 21% over the last year. Demand is rising, sales are rising and prices are up. The average and median prices of residential properties sold in 2020 increased by 15% over properties sold in 2019.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic, however, is that the price per square foot for resale properties, at $205, was higher than the price per square foot of new homes, at $201. We don’t remember that ever happening.
The charts below show the relationships between sales, prices and inventory every year since 2002.