Home Sellers Average Price Gain $44,000 in Q1 2017, Highest Since Q3 2007

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According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q1 2017 US Home Sales Report, which shows that homeowners who sold in the first quarter realized an average price gain of $44,000 since purchase, representing an average 24% return on the purchase price — the highest average price gain for home sellers in terms of both dollars and percentage returns since Q3 2007.

Meanwhile, the report also shows that homeowners who sold in the first quarter had owned an average of 7.97 years, down slightly from a record-high average homeownership tenure of 8.00 years in Q4 2016 but still up from 7.68 years in Q1 2016. Homeownership tenure averaged 4.26 years nationwide between Q1 2000 and Q3 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

“The first quarter of 2017 was the most profitable time to be a home seller in nearly a decade, and yet homeowners are continuing to stay put in their homes longer before selling,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “This counterintuitive combination is in part the result of the low inventory of move-up homes available for current homeowners, while also perpetuating the scarcity of starter homes available for first-time homebuyers.

“The average homeownership tenure was down from a year ago in nine of the 66 markets we analyzed, including Memphis, Dallas, Boston, Portland and Tampa,” Blomquist added.

Markets with biggest home seller price gains
Among 97 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 1,000 home sales in Q1 2017 (and with previous sales price information available), those with the highest average price gain since purchase realized by home sellers during the quarter were San Jose, California ($356,500 average price gain); San Francisco, California ($276,750 average price gain) and Los Angeles, California ($187,000 average price gain).

“Across our Southern California markets, low listing inventory has continued to drive multiple-offer scenarios,” said Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate covering the Southern California market. “We have noticed many buyers now leveraging investment accounts, as well as some leverage of reverse mortgages, to enable their ability to negotiate in competitive multiple-offer scenarios. This level of competition, as well as continued signals of a growth economy, has created momentum particularly in the luxury market of over $1 million in sales price.”

Metro areas with the highest% return on the previous purchase price were San Jose, California (71% average ROI); San Francisco, California (65%); and Seattle, Washington (56%);

“Thanks to Seattle’s robust economic and job growth, home prices continue to rise at well above average rates and have now surpassed their pre-housing bubble peak. Because of this, it’s no surprise that distressed sales continue to fall,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market. “The increase in all-cash home sales in Seattle is likely not a result of investors, but rather all-cash buyers who are using this tactic to win homes in what it is a hyper-competitive housing market.”

Cash sales share down from a year ago, still above pre-recession levels
All-cash sales represented 30.0% of all single family and condo sales in Q1 2017, up from 29.1% in the previous quarter but down from 32.1% in Q1 2016. The 30.0% share in the first quarter was well below the peak of 44.7% in Q1 2011 but was still above the pre-recession average of 20.4% from Q1 2000 to Q3 2007.

“With a stronger market and overall sales increasing, we are seeing a decrease in foreclosure sales across the markets we serve, as well as seeing a decrease in institutional investors purchasing homes,” said Matthew Watercutter, senior regional vice president and broker of record for HER Realtors, covering the Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati markets in Ohio. “With the stronger market and availability of money from institutional lenders such as mortgage companies and credit unions, we are seeing a decrease in cash purchases, as more properties are being sold to owner occupants and fewer to investors.”

(Source: ATTOM Data Solutions)

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