Housing Trends: Bidding War is On, But for How Long

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A Third of Homes Sold For the List Price or More in September 2017

Ten years after the financial crisis, home price indexes and home sales are returning to pre-crisis levels. In some areas, prices and sales have reached new highs. With demand strong and inventory thin, a greater share of homes have sold this year at or above their listing price.

Figure 1 shows the share of homes that sold at a price above, equal to or below the list price. [1] This September the share of homes selling above list price had recovered to early 2004 levels. The share selling above list price was almost three times the trough in January 2008 and represented more than one-fifth of total sales.

Shu Chen Blog Post

Housing markets are different across the nation. Sales and listing patterns vary geographically. Figure 2 shows the share of homes that sold at, above, or below their list prices in 16 Core Based Statistical Areas during September 2017. San Francisco had the largest share of homes – 76 percent – that sold for at least the list price, and Seattle and Los Angeles followed with 63 and 51 percent, respectively. Miami had the lowest share – 16 percent – of homes selling at or above the list price in September 2017.

[1] Figures 1 use 66 CBSAs to aggregate national level statistics. The inventory has not been adjusted for growth in the number of households over time. As the number of households increases over time, the ‘equivalent’ level of inventory should rise as well.

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