ATTOM: 3Q U.S. Median Home Prices Up 8%

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., released its Q3 2019 U.S. Home Sales Report, showing single-family homes and condos sold for a record median price of $270,000 in the third quarter, up 2.9 percent from the previous quarter and up 8.3 percent from a year ago.

The report also said homeowners who sold in the third quarter earned a median profit that ticked up to a post-recession high of 34.5 percent, up from 34.4 percent in Q2 2019 and 34.3 percent from Q3 2018.

Average homeownership tenure hit a new high of 8.19 years, up 3 percent from last quarter and up 3 percent from Q3 2018. Homeownership tenure averaged 4.20 years nationwide between Q1 2000 and Q3 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

“The seven-year U.S. housing boom is back in high gear,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “After a series of relatively small price increase quarters, home prices saw quite the uptick, seller profits rose and the problem of distressed sales continued to fade, helping to make the third quarter the strongest in four years. That all happened as mortgage rates sank back to near-historic lows, which clearly powered the market upward along with stock market surges and a continued strong economy. There had been signs before the latest surge of a cooling market, but they seem to have diminished, at least for now.”

Other report findings:

–Median home prices increased year-over-year in 148 of the 155 metro areas analyzed in the report (95 percent) in the third quarter, led by Lansing, Mich. (25.1 percent increase); Green Bay, Wis. (18.1 percent); Johnson City, Tenn. (16.7 percent); Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C. (13.7 percent) and Spokane, Wash. (13.5 percent).

–Only three major metros saw annual price drops: Kansas City (9.4 percent); San Jose, Calif. (3.3 percent) and Hartford, Conn. (0.3 percent).

–Homeowners who sold in the third quarter realized an average home price gain since purchase of $68,686, up from an average gain of $66,995 in Q2 2019 and up from an average gain of $63,750 in Q3 2018. The average home seller gain represented an average 34.5 percent return as a percentage of original purchase price.

–Average amount of time homeowners stayed in their homes before selling rose to a new high of 8.19 years in the third quarter, more than twice what it was during the last real estate boom in the early- and mid-2000s. The latest tenure figure was up from 7.97 years in the second quarter of 2019 and 7.94 years in Q3 2018. Among 108 metro areas analyzed in the report, 61 percent increased annually and 39 percent decreased annually.

–All-cash sales represented 24.3 percent of all single family and condo sales in the third quarter, the lowest level since third quarter 2007.

–The share of single-family home and condo sales made to institutional investors (entities buying at least 10 properties in a calendar year) rose to 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2019, up from 2.3 percent in the previous quarter, but the same as the 3.0 percent figure from a year ago.

–Sales to FHA buyers (typically first-time homebuyers or other buyers with a low-down payment) represented 12.1 percent of all U.S. single family and condo sales in the third quarter, up from 11.7 percent of all sales in the previous quarter and 10.4 percent in Q3 2018. The latest figure is the highest since Q4 2017.

–Total distressed sales accounted for 10.5 percent of all single family and condo sales in the third quarter, down from 11.3 percent in the previous quarter and from 11.6 percent from the same time last year. Distressed sales as a portion of all sales now stands at its lowest point since fourth quarter 2006.