Share of Homes Sold Above Asking Price Hits Two Year Low

The share of homes sold above asking price declined each month in the second half of 2018 – and December saw the biggest month-over-month drop since at least 2012 – another sign of the slowing housing market, according to online real estate company Zillow.

Nineteen percent of home sales in the U.S. went for above asking in December, down from 21 percent in November and a peak of 24 percent in May. While lower than the highs of this spring, the level remains above the 17 percent range from 2014.

This downward trend in December was widespread: Eight of the 10 largest markets in the U.S. experienced a drop from November levels – Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., were the exceptions.

Among the largest 35 markets, 27 saw a downtick in the share of homes that sold above list.

Despite the slowdown during the back half of the year, the annual share of homes sold above list price still trended upward for the fourth consecutive year, though the pace is slowing.

Nationally, 23.5 percent of homes sold above list price in 2018 compared to 22.7 percent in 2017. The median amount above asking that sellers realized fell from $7,000 to $6,830. Perhaps 2019 will be a “buyer’s market” for homes. Whether it is or isn’t will have to do with the health of the larger economy.

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Real Estate