US home sellers get while the gettin’s good

Jan 26, 2023, 7:10 AM | Updated: 2:40 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Homeowners who held off on selling their home in 2022 as the housing market slowed missed out on a windfall and may have to settle for slimmer profits if they opt to sell this year.

The sale of a median-priced U.S. home last year translated into a profit of $112,000, a 21% increase from a year earlier and the largest on records going back at least to 2008, according to a report released Thursday by Attom, a real estate data tracker.

“It seems pretty likely that home seller profits peaked for this cycle in 2022,” said Rick Sharga, Attom’s executive vice president of market intelligence.

Years of soaring prices powered the big profits for U.S. home sellers last year, ensuring outsized gains even as sharply higher mortgage rates knocked the housing market into a skid.

Long-term homeowners who decide to sell this year should also benefit from more than a decade of rising home values, but the likelihood that home prices will fall further this year sets the stage for more modest gains.

“Median prices have declined on a monthly basis since mortgage rates doubled between January (2022) and October, and are likely to decline further in many markets across the country in 2023, reducing profitability for home sellers,” Sharga said.

Surging mortgage rates and sky high prices last year slammed the brakes on what had been a red-hot housing market during the first two years of the pandemic. Home sales cratered as higher borrowing costs combined with years of rising home prices pushed homeownership out of reach for many Americans, especially first-time buyers.

Homeowners who sold last year still reaped the financial rewards from years of home equity gains, however. The return on investment for a median-priced U.S. home sold last year was a whopping 51.4%, up from 44.6% in 2021, Attom found.

The Irvine, California-based firm calculated the return on investment by comparing the sale of a median-priced U.S. home in 2022 to the previous median purchase price.

The national median home price has more than doubled since 2012, when the U.S. housing market was just beginning to recover from the bursting of the housing bubble and Great Recession. It rose 10% last year to $330,000, an all-time high, according to Attom.

Still, that gain is below 2021’s 17.6% rise, when the housing market was still being fueled by historically low mortgage rates.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage hit a two-decade high of 7.08% last fall as the Federal Reserve continued to boost its key lending rate in a quest to cool the economy and tame inflation.

Mortgage rates have been falling in recent weeks. The average rate on a 30-year home loan slipped to 6.15% this week, the lowest since September, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. A year ago, the average rate was 3.56%.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Gabby Petito's mother Nichole Schmidt, wipes a tear from her face during a news conference o...

Associated Press

Mother of man who killed Gabby Petito said in letter she would help son ‘dispose of a body’

The mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito told her son in an undated letter that she would “dispose of a body” if needed because she loved him so much, according to copies of the note shared publicly for the first time this week by attorneys for Petito's parents.

2 days ago

A member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, places flags in front of e...

Associated Press

5 things to know about Memorial Day including its controversies

Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members, but it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts on anything from mattresses to lawn mowers.

2 days ago

FILE - This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, left, as he test...

Associated Press

Officers describe chaos, fear on Jan. 6 as judge weighs prison time for Oath Keepers’ Rhodes

Police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and public servants who fled the mob's attack told a judge on Wednesday that they are still haunted by what they endured, as the judge prepares to hand down sentences in a landmark Capitol riot case.

3 days ago

Pride month merchandise is displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., Wednesday,...

Associated Press

Target on the defensive after removing LGBTQ+-themed products

Target once distinguished itself as being boldly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

4 days ago

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Former Arizona television journalist announces bid for Schweikert’s US House seat

A former Phoenix television journalist announced her candidacy Wednesday for the congressional seat currently held by seven-term Republican Rep. David Schweikert.

4 days ago

Tortoise by Henry Davis earned an honorable mention in the "Adventures in Nature” student photo c...

Associated Press

When you adopt a desert tortoise, prepare for a surprisingly social and zippy pet

They’re not fluffy, they don’t play fetch and they certainly don’t roll over. But there is such a thing as a lap tortoise.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

US home sellers get while the gettin’s good