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It is not the flashiest or most dynamic part of the real estate industry. The concept of a Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, goes back more than 100 years when local boards would meet in a dusty office and exchange paper copies of listings. Eventually, these were consolidated into larger volumes accessible by members of local or regional associations, before the dawn of the internet blurred regional lines and gave broad access to listing data for both consumers and real estate professionals.
After seeing several months of gains, existing-home sales retracted in December by 7.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.18 million, with each of the four major U.S. regions seeing both a month-over-month and year-over-year decreases, according to the latest data from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Despite the drop, overall sales for 2021 increased 8.5%, marking the highest annual level since 2006.
Mortgage rates continued their upward trajectory for the fourth straight week, rising to their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic, according to this week’s report from Freddie Mac.
According to the agency’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS), the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.56% for the week ending Jan. 20, climbing another 0.7 points from a week ago.
As the consumer shopping season wound down in December, real estate demand remained high amidst staggeringly low inventory. Zillow’s latest market report showed housing inventory is down 40.5% versus December 2019—just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began.