The real estate market in the U.S. has had many momentous periods, not the least of which was the terrifying housing bubble crash of 2008. Many people worried that housing sales and values would drop off during the pandemic, but that didn’t manifest either, and until recently, many housing markets have been extremely hot, with high demand driving up prices. While increased interest rates have slowed some housing markets, there are lots of changes that have happened particularly over the past year.
To explore some of these jaw-dropping stats, GOBankingRates researched key facts and figures about the U.S. housing market using March 2023 data from Zillow and focusing on single-family residences. To provide greater context, real estate broker Jsun Laliberté, with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City, weighed in.
March 2023 median home value for the U.S. is $333,910, a year-over-year increase of 4.93%.
While Laliberté said it’s hard to make predictive or interpretive statements based on such data, a 4.93% year-over-year growth rate is pretty solid. He’d want to know more the “hot and cold spots” to dig deeper. “Here in New York City, for example, the market is fractured into sub-markets, like the ultra-luxury, luxury, upper middle-class and then smaller apartments, one-person households and first-time homebuyers. Those markets operate wildly different from one another.”
A single $60 million luxury home sale, for example, could have an impact on those that dropped in value. “I’d want to know where the breakouts are in that data, concentrations of rapid growth and concentrations of struggling home sales.”
March 2023 list price for homes in the U.S. is $374,000, an increase of 8.10% from this time last year. The March 2023 median sale price is $325,667, which reflects a decrease of 1.01%.
The difference between these values is $48,333.
“Whenever you see large deltas between list and sale price, it means there’s a generalized disparity between expectations of a seller and expectations of a buyer. That also means the market is slower by way of volume and fewer transactions, because it’s harder to do deals when the spread is so big,” Laliberté said.
It can also be a tactic by a seller, to “aggressively price high with the intention of baking in negotiability,” he said.
Homes Sold Above List Price and Below List Price
23.89% of homes in March 2023 sold above their list price.
Year-over-year, the number of homes that sold over list price fell by 46.27%.
Laliberté said that this can reflect “a cooling of expectations. When home prices drop, it has an effect that can last years. However, it most affects those who are flipping houses with short gaps in between transactions — [in] a skyrocketing market you can buy and then flip very quickly, cover your closing costs and maybe even profit.”
Under normal circumstances, homeowners who purchased years ago may not be seeing huge spikes in equity, but they’re probably still increasing their equity slowly. “Real estate doesn’t trade like stocks,” he said. “It’s part financial asset, part quality-of-life investment.”
In March 2023, 57.18% of homes sold below their list price, which is a 3.75% year-over-year increase from 2022’s 53.43%.
More homes selling below list price can suggest a cooling market.
Share of Listings With a Price Cut
In March 2023, 19.74% of listings had a price cut, which is 80.27% more price cuts than 2022.
“I think there’s a lag between corrections in markets and expectations of sellers,” Laliberté said. “Sellers who understand the market do well. They transact faster, often encourage multiple offers and drive demand back up.” Moreover, this reflects that the market has changed, and possibly slowed.
“Last year, especially in super-hot markets, like in New York [and] Florida, there were pockets where it was explosive, because of low interest rates. When interest rates are low, it’s more affordable to borrow and it also allows you to leverage more of your property, take what cash you had that would have been in that property and invest it in other things that have greater return than the rock-bottom interest rate on your mortgage.”
Average and Median Price Cuts
The average amount that housing prices were cut by in March 2023 was $20,233, a year-over-year decrease of 11.75%.
The median price cut is $10,000, or a 0.33% decrease from last year.
The current number of homes for sale, as of March 2023, was 734,184, an increase of 15.06% from March 2022.
Inventory can be influenced by a number of things, but Laliberté suspects that the end to supply chain holdups that were taking place during the pandemic may be allowing more construction to take place.
Without more granular data, it’s hard to say, but in essence, he explained: if you have more supply, which increases demand for homes in a hot market, more housing will stabilize or slow growth. In a cool market, more supply will hurt growth, decreasing the value even more.
The overall takeaway from these data points, he said, is that if these numbers interest you, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional in your specific area to help you get more accurate data about your housing market.
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Methodology: For this piece GOBankingRates found the facts and figures about the U.S. housing market using Zillow’s March 2023 data. Single-family residences were focused on. All data was collected and is up to date as of May 1, 2023.