The figures suggest that in this era of high mortgage rates and low affordability, many sellers fall into the same trap: thinking they may be the exception to the price cooling rule. Their homes often sit on the market waiting for a price reduction and end up selling for less than the initial price that is more appropriate for the market, which can create competition among potential buyers.
Realtor.com's data team started with data on individual home sales transactions in March, matched the sales to the listing prices in the Multiple Listing Service, and then calculated the difference between the initial listing price and the final sale price.
Rochester, New York
Median sales price in March: $210,000
Difference from median listing price: 6.1
Situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Rochester leads the way among places where our sellers are still seeing sales above list price, with the median sales price in March being over 6% higher than the list price.
The area has long been known as a stable market with strong healthcare and education industries that provide a steady stream of high income tenants. In recent years, the city's downtown area has undergone significant redevelopment with new residential, commercial and entertainment developments.
Rochesterians have easy access to hiking and biking along the Genesee Riverwalk Trail, wine tasting in the famous Finger Lakes region, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter at Bristol Mountain, about 30 miles south.
Tiffany Hilbert, a realtor with the Hilbert Team at Keller Williams Realty Greater Rochester, said she has seen homes sell recently for well above the list price.
"I just saw a house sell for $75,000 over asking price the other day," she said.
Similar data she tracks for the area shows that April and May have seen more sales with price appreciation and above list price.
"Condos and townhouses are now selling for 11 per cent more than asking price," Hilbert said." And in April, the average sales price was 17 percent above list price for existing single-family homes."
Kansas City, Missouri.
Median sales price in March: $289,100
Difference from median list price: 2.5
Kansas City has been a treasure trove of home affordability in recent years. Over the past few years, home prices here have been 5 to 10 per cent lower per square foot than the national average. It is therefore not surprising to see the strength of the area in the current housing market.
The city straddles the border between Missouri and Kansas and was a historic centre of the American jazz scene in the early 20th century, largely due to famous musicians from the area, including Count Basie and Charlie Parker. It was also the home of President Harry S. Truman.
The city is now dotted with new high-rise flats and office buildings as the area's technology industry booms. Meanwhile, the cost of living has remained relatively low, driving population growth of about 10% over the past decade, almost twice the national rate.
Median sales price in March: $292,000
Difference from median list price: 1.9
Connecticut's capital city has been on several lists of the hottest housing markets recently, so it tracks the average home sale at a price slightly above asking price.
Known as the "insurance capital of the world", Hartford is about 45 minutes from New Haven, 90 minutes from Boston and over two hours from New York City, making it attractive to commuters who may only need to be in the office a few days out of the week. Demand for housing has risen steadily in recent years.
"Before the pandemic," says Amy Chorew, vice president of learning at Better Homes & Gardens Realty in Hartford, "homes [here] were below market price." COVID has made everyone more aware of the value of homeownership."
Over the past few years, demand has risen in suburban communities a little further from the population centres of the northeast coast, and prices have risen along with it.
"A lot of the young people [who left] are now coming back," Chorew says.
Median sales price in March: $224,373
Difference from median list price: 0.9 per cent
Wichita's transformation over the past 150 years is a quintessentially American story, from a cattle drive destination that earned the nickname "Old Cowtown" in the late 19th century to the global aviation capital of the 20th century, with companies like Boeing and Cessna headquartered here.
But the city's historically low cost of living and relatively more affordable housing make it a resilient housing market today.
Even in 2019, before the big disease pump pushed home prices through the roof in many markets, homes in Wichita sold very close to asking prices, which was better than the average at the time.
Now, the city is one of only a few markets where home sellers can still expect to see selling prices above asking prices.
San Jose, CA
Median Sold Price in March: $1,382,500
Difference from median list price: 0.1
As the largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area (sorry, San Francisco!) ), San Jose is known for its starring role in the tech industry. As such, it is also known for its jaw-dropping home prices. With a median home price of $1.3 million, San Jose is not your average housing market.
Today's high prices are key to understanding why, despite widespread layoffs in the tech industry, sales prices are still only a hair above asking prices. Simply put, in a market like this, buyers live in a world of their own.
"If you're shopping in a market where the median listing price is $1.3 million, you're not limited by price or interest rates, generally speaking," says Jones of the Realtor.com website.
Sky-high prices are nothing new here, she said, so the idea of a high market price has been incorporated into buyers' expectations.
Prices in San Jose fell slightly after interest rates rose in mid-2022, but since the start of the year they have started to rise again and are now less than 1 per cent below the all-time high set last June.
In nearby San Francisco, a similar trend has left the difference between asking prices and list prices at about zero - meaning homes are selling at list prices - and prices there have been rising back up to just 4.5 per cent below their June 2022 peak.
That's not to say it's incredibly higher than it used to be," Jones added.
Metros where homes are selling for less than list price
Median sold price in March: $449,120
Difference from median list price: -6.8%.
Austin, once again, was the place where the market "correction" was most evident, leading all other metros in terms of the difference between sale price and list price, with sales prices almost 7% below what sellers were asking for.
In keeping with the city's unofficial motto, pandemic-era demand has certainly made Austin's home prices spooky. in May 2021, average sales were 9% above asking prices.
The influx of buyers in Austin has been attributed to a confluence of positive factors. The city has a strong technology sector, attracting a young, highly educated workforce. Downtown has seen massive redevelopment and the resulting luxury condominiums, office buildings and entertainment venues, and the city has earned its reputation as a cultural hub of Texas with many live music venues and festivals such as South by Southwest.
Rising interest rates and affordability issues led to a reversal a few years ago, but the lows may now be behind us, as homes sold for 10 percent less than the list price in January.
"Austin's inventory is up 258% year-over-year," Jones said." It is leading the nation in inventory growth. As a result, if sellers want to sell their homes, they generally have to sell them for less than what they're listed for."
Median sales price in March: $455,800
Difference from median list price: -6.4
It seems that Austin is not far from Boise on any superlatives list. Although Boise is only a third of its size, Idaho's capital city has been on a similar trajectory.
With its vast array of outdoor living amenities, from hiking and biking to rafting and skiing, Boise has been a growing market. Prior to the pandemic, housing prices were about 20% higher than the US average.
During the pandemic, things got a little wild here: homeowners in denser, more expensive urban centres outside the area cashed in their equity and came to Boise in search of bigger, more affordable homes. But that interest has driven listing prices up more than 60 per cent during the pandemic.
Since last summer, listing prices have fallen by about 10 per cent. Our data shows that the average sales price in March was 6.5 percentage points lower than the listing price.
Median sales price in March: $344,990
Median variance from list price: -6.1
Located in the northeast corner of Florida, adjacent to the Atlantic coast, Jacksonville has become another city with an influx of demand over the past few years.
Home prices in Jacksonville - and the difference between sales prices and listing prices - tracked closely with the US average early in the pandemic. For much of 2021 and 2022, sales prices in Jacksonville will be almost exactly the list price. But as is the case in the US more broadly, this has slipped.
Since last September, sales prices have increasingly fallen below the list price.
Elysia Stobbe, a Jacksonville mortgage lender and real estate writer, says the trend has reached a low point and is starting to rebound. Our analysis continued through March, and Stobbe says April was a turning point.
"My phone has been ringing off the hook for the past three weeks," she says." New listings have increased by four per cent."
Given the high interest rate hurdle, buyers and sellers in the market today are particularly motivated.
"It means they really want to expand or downsize, or they have to move for an event in their life, or they really want to get their first home," she says." And we're seeing sellers being a little more reasonable."
Las Vegas, Nevada
Median sales price in March: $390,000
Difference from median listing price: -5.9%.
The housing market in Las Vegas has gone from scorching hot to as cold as a desert night in the middle of winter. This is nothing new for this gambling-based city. The area was at the centre of the housing collapse in the late 2000s and the city is once again on the list of homes selling below asking price.
For sellers who know when to hold and when to give up, last summer was the time to sell, when listing prices reached a 50 per cent increase since the pandemic. Since then, those prices have fallen by around 9%.
The median sale price in March was 6% below the list price, but that's an improvement since November 2022, when the sale price was 9% below the list price.
New Orleans, LA
Median sales price in March: $260,000
Difference from median list price: -5.4
New Orleans, a southern gem rich in history and culture, topped the list, with March home sales some 5.5 percentage points below list price.
The reason? Romula Rhodes, a real estate agent with Latter and Blum in New Orleans, said homes are too expensive in the storm-prone city and the price of homeowners insurance has skyrocketed.
"The biggest issue right now is the price of insurance," says Rhodes, who sells real estate in Louisiana and neighbouring Mississippi. The cost "has tripled for some people."
After years of slow but steady home appreciation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the combination of more recent, less affordable prices and high insurance costs has finally forced prices down, like a post-Carnival Mercredi hangover, Rhodes said.