Home Sale Profits Decline as Home Prices Fall

Home selling profits continued to decline due to a decrease in the median nationwide home price, according to the latest data from ATTOM.

ATTOM’s Home Sales Report for Q1 2024 saw profit margins on median-priced single-family home and condo sales decrease to 55.3%—the smallest level in more than two years. This reading was down from 57.1% in Q4 2023 and from 56.5% a year ago

As mentioned, the decrease is attributed by ATTOM to a drop in the median nationwide home price, which went down quarterly by 4.3% to $330,000.

Key highlights:

  • Typical profit margins decreased in 89 (66%) of the 134 metro areas around the U.S. with sufficient data to analyze. They also were down annually in 71, or 53%, of those metros.
  • Typical profit margins increased annually in 63 of the 134 metro areas analyzed (47 percent).
  • The typical home sale decreased quarterly in 112 (84%) of the 134 metro areas.
  • However, latest median prices remained 3.1% higher than the $320,000 level in Q1 2023, rising annually in 103 of the metros reviewed (77%).
  • Homeowners who sold in Q1 2024 had owned their homes an average of 7.77 years. That was down from 7.88 years in Q4 2023, but up from 7.44 years one year ago.
  • Average tenure was up from one year ago to the same period this year in 73% of metro areas with sufficient data.
  • Home sales following foreclosures by banks and other lenders represented just 1.7%, or one of every 59 home sales. That was up from 1.5% in Q4 2023, but unchanged from 1.7% last year.
  • Nationwide, all-cash purchases accounted for 41.1% of home sales. That was up slightly from 40.7% in Q4 2023 and from 39.7% last year.
  • Institutional investors nationwide accounted for 6.2%, or one of every 16 home purchases. That was unchanged from Q4 2023, although slightly down from 6.4% last year.

Major takeaway:

“The latest price and profit numbers show notably downward trends, which raises new questions about whether the housing-market boom is indeed ebbing, or even ending, after so many years of improvement,” said Rob Barber, CEO for ATTOM. “But due caution is needed in looking at the first-quarter data and what the patterns mean. We saw a similar downward pattern from late 2022 into early 2023, and then the market surged. Plus, profits and profit margins still are very high by historical measures. Amid all that, the Spring buying season will be a huge barometer for whether the market still has steam in its engine.”

For the full report, including specific data on the metro areas tracked, click here.

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