Seattle Home-Seller Profits Among Highest In Nation

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The Editors's picture
Seattle home-seller profits among highest in the nation as length of homeownership also remains high

People selling their homes in Seattle have seen some of the highest profits in the nation at a time when home-sellers across the country are seeing the highest profits in 10 years, according to an ATTOM Data Solutions release.

Seattle has an on-going issue of lack of housing supply

“An ongoing issue in the greater Seattle area is a lack of supply which is aggressively driving up home prices,” Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, in Seattle said in the release.

“The only short-term solution is to build more homes, but thanks to land constraints and construction costs, this simply is not happening at a rate that you would normally expect in a market like this,” Gardner said.

“Unfortunately I do not expect this trend to change until zoning and regulation costs change, which is unlikely in the current political climate.”

Among 118 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 1,000 home sales in the second quarter of 2017 with previous sale information available, those with the highest average home seller returns were:

  • San Jose, California (75 percent)
  • San Francisco, California (65 percent)
  • Seattle, Washington (63 percent)
  • Modesto, California (62 percent)
  • Denver, Colorado (62 percent)

Other highlights of the report:

  • Cash sales share increases annually for first time since Q1 2013
  • Institutional investor sales share down nationwide, up in 26 percent of local markets
  • Average homeownership tenure down in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, DC and Detroit
  • Distressed sale share drops to lowest level since Q3 2007
  • FHA buyer share drops to lowest level in more than two years


Average home-seller profit at 26 percent

Seattle home seller profits among highest in nation

The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent.

The report also shows that homeowners who sold in the second quarter had owned an average of 8.05 years, up from 7.85 years in the previous quarter and up from 7.59 years in Q2 2016 to the longest average homeownership tenure as far back as data is available, Q1 2000.

“Potential home sellers in today’s market are caught in a Catch-22. While it’s the most profitable time to sell in a decade, it’s also extremely difficult to find another home to purchase, which is helping to keep homeowners in their homes longer before selling,” Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, said in the release.

 “And the market is becoming even more competitive, with the share of cash buyers in the second quarter increasing annually for the first time in four years,” Blomquist said.

"Across Southern California we are witnessing concerns over housing affordability keeping homeowners in current homes for longer tenure, and keeping available home inventories low in supply," Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate, said in the release.

Report methodology

The ATTOM Data Solutions U.S. Home Sales Report provides percentages of distressed sales and all sales that are sold to investors, institutional investors and cash buyers, a state and metropolitan statistical area. Data is also available at the county and zip code level upon request. The data is derived from recorded sales deeds, foreclosure filings and loan data. Statistics for previous quarters are revised when each new report is issued as more deed data becomes available.

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