In December, sales fell in the Northeast, Midwest and West, while staying unchanged in the South, according to the Realtors.
The inventory of homes available for sales kept on contracting, dropping to 1.65 million, which is down 6.3 percent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the median price for an existing home was $232,200, up 4% from December 2015 and marking the 58thconsecutive month of year-over-year gains.
The tighter inventories pushed up median home prices in Chattanooga a year ago to $160,400, or $8,400 more than in 2015.
Ohio's housing marked closed out its busiest year since 2005 in December, despite a nationwide sales slowdown as winter weather set in. Sales in the single family segment retreated by a more moderate 1.8 percent to 4.88 million.
"At this point", Gudell said in an emailed statement, "lackluster inventory remains the number one driver of sales and prices". Rising mortgage rates could, however, slow house price increases. "As a result, it may be several months before there is an appreciable impact on the housing market".
"Consumers appear to be waiting to see what the new president and Congress plan for the economy", Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of IL, said.
Rising interest rates could also put a damper on sales, Jonathan Smoke, economist for Realtor.com, told real estate agents gathered in Chicago last week.
With so many headwinds, the housing market made little progress in 2016.
Astronomer studies 'habitable' exoplanet
The research team studied the planet's orbits in collaboration with Tennessee State University and in Geneva, Switzerland. The surface temperature on Venus now reaches around 471 degrees Celsius.
Mortgage rates have declined somewhat during January after jumping sharply in November and December.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said last week that the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.09 percent from 4.12 percent. Last July, amid concerns that the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union would cause a recession, mortgage rates fell to 3.45 percent.
Rates surged after the USA presidential election but have dipped in recent weeks.
"We can't make them sell", said Carpenter, but he noted that having limited choices for homebuyers is keeping the housing market down. "It is hard to sell homes that are not for sale".
Carpenter said he thinks more potential sellers will emerge for the spring selling season.
December's sales were up 0.7 percent compared to the same period previous year. House prices increased 5.2 percent in 2016 to an average of $233,900.
The fall in sales was mostly concentrated in the condo/co-op segment where transactions dropped 10.3 percent to 610,000. He noted that consumer sentiment is strong nationally, although Chicago has been held back by a decline in job growth in the nonmanufacturing and construction sectors.
That's about a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace compared with 3.9 months in December 2015.