A new iteration of ATTOM Data’s year-end U.S. Home Sales Report, which showed that home sellers collected a tidy average of $121,000 of profit on the typical home sale—putting that another way, that is a 56.5% return on investment—with both numbers near record levels but fell by 3% for the first time since 2011.
This marks the first decline in either number in over a decade.
The gross profit on a standard, median-priced single-family home sales dipped from $122,600 in 2022, when the return on profit stood at 59.8%. That happened as the median nationwide home price rose at the smallest annual pace in more than a decade.
In a year of ups and downs, this profit followed the seasonal pattern of flat prices early in 2023, followed by a spike in the spring and a drop-off in the fourth quarter. Price patterns were mixed as the upward pressure of strong employment and investment markets, along with a historically tight supply of homes, competed with the downward force of home-mortgage rates that rose during most of 2023.
“Last year certainly stood out as another very good year for home sellers across most of the United States. Typical profits of over $120,000 and margins close to 60 percent were still more than double where they stood just five years earlier,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “But the market definitely softened amid modest price gains that weren’t enough to push profits up higher after a long run of improvements. In 2024, the stage seems set for more small changes in prices as well as seller gains given the competing forces of interest rates that have headed back down in recent months and home supplies that remain tight, but home ownership costs that remain a serious financial burden for many households.”
The average American home price increased 2.1% from 2022-2023, reaching a high of 335,000. The typical 2023 price has more than double the nationwide median in 2011, a point in time right before the housing market began recovering from the aftereffects of the Great Recession that hit in the late 2000s.
The 2023 increase, however, represented the smallest annual bump during the extended boom period that began in 2012. The full-year median home-price appreciation slowed down as interest rates rose in 2023 close to 8% for a 30-year mortgage.
While gains were mostly small, median prices still rose from 2022 to 2023 in 97, or 75% of the 129 metropolitan statistical areas around the U.S. with a population of 200,000 or more and sufficient home price data last year.
Click here to view the year-end study in its entirety.