Home prices increased at the largest pace in almost six years in December, helped by a dramatic decline in homes on the market in California.
Active listings dropped for the fifth straight month, forcing buyers to pay more with the slumping supply and the surging demand.
Fewer homes and higher prices were more important than record-low mortgage rates in October, as sales were stagnant.
Despite record-high home prices, homes became more affordable thanks to higher incomes and lower mortgage rates.
State law allows homeowners to convert garages into granny flats with little red tape, but some cities are apparently balking at the effort.