U.S. Median Home Sales Price Reaches a New All-Time High at $248k

by | BiggerPockets.com

ATTOM Data Solutions just released its Q3 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report, revealing that distressed home sales—including bank-owned (REO) sales, third-party foreclosure auction sales, and short sales—have fallen to the lowest level since 2007.

According to Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, “Distressed sales nationally are now the exception rather than the rule, and we would expect the distressed sale share to return to the pre-recession norm of single-digit percentages within the next year given the current downward trajectory. Distressed sales have become more localized in nature, with some of the biggest increases from a year ago in markets experiencing regional economic weakness or a natural disaster event that has triggered a jump in foreclosure activity.”

Related: 5 Risks of Buying Rental Properties in Declining Markets

5 Markets With the Largest Share of Distressed Sales

This study looked at markets with populations of 200,000 or more with at least 100 distressed sales over the quarter. The areas with the largest shares of distressed sales included:

  1. Atlantic City, New Jersey (35.2 percent)
  2. McAllen-Edinburg, Texas (24.5 percent)
  3. Montgomery, Alabama (23.7 percent)
  4. Akron, Ohio (23.2 percent)
  5. Youngstown, Ohio (22.5 percent)

5 Markets With the Smallest Share of Distressed Sales

Conversely, these areas saw a proportionately small amount of distressed properties sold:

  1. San Jose, California (3.1 percent)
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah (3.3 percent)
  3. Austin, Texas (4.1 percent)
  4. San Francisco, California (5.2 percent)
  5. Provo-Orem, Utah (5.5 percent)

What About Your Local Market?

ATTOM Data Solutions provided this interactive heat map to help you gauge how distressed sales in your market measure up to nationwide trends.

Median Home Sales Price Reaches a New All-Time High

The third quarter of 2017 saw a new all-time high for the median sales price nationwide—coming in at $248,000—an increase of 10 percent from a year ago and 3 percent above the pre-recession high in Q3 of 2005.

Related: How the “Second Wave of Suburbanization” Will Change Housing Markets as We Know Them

A whopping 55 metro areas out of 126 saw new all-time highs reached during the quarter, with 66 percent of metro areas experiencing median home prices that exceed pre-recession peaks. These metro areas include Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit, and Seattle.

The question that arises, of course, is whether markets prices have risen to unsupportable levels indicative of a possible crash.

What do you think? 

Let me know what conclusions you draw from this data with a comment!

About Author

Allison Leung

A career writer, editor and blogger, Allison serves as the Director of Content for BiggerPockets.com. In the past, she has channeled her passion and curiosity for all things real estate into her jobs by working in real estate law and heading a blog about real estate market trends. Don’t ask about her dog, Ace, unless you want to see approximately 500 photos of his (adorable) face.


  1. Pete Tam

    I look at the price of Northern California houses and feels like we are going to hit the road soon, but when we look at the bigger pictures of the economy, it looks really strong. Corporates are showing strong growth, stocks and other aspect of the market is growing well.
    I am clueless where this economy is going.
    Any of you think there will be correction soon ?

  2. Cindy Larsen

    It is impossible to predict the market in the short term:: even the experts can’t do it. In the longer term, they don’t do much better. i think the key is to invest without counting on appreciation, running the numbers so that if the property values stay steady or go down, your rental property will still have positive cash flow.

    With regard to the market in northern california, I strongly believe it is due for a downturn in the next few years, and will not recover for a long time, if ever. Water is the issue. Scientists have predicted,that due to climate change there will be no snowpack on the Sierras by 2030. the drought is not a temporary thing but a climate change. Silicon valley gets a lot of it’s water from the Sierras. Eventually, water shortage will affect housing prices in northern CA. It is possible that water could be diverted from agriculture to population, but this would raise food prices, making buyers have less money to spend on buying houses. Or desalinization plants could be built, which would also have costs. Sorry I can’t provide links to the info on the climate change impact on the Sierras: I researched it about 4-5 years ago. But it was real, not pseudoscience. I believe it enough that I just sold my house in CA and moved to WA.

  3. Pete Tam

    I was reading the article about it too that median home price has gone up by 10% but wages are not keeping up with the other side of the economy. Nationwide average wage up rate is 2% or something. I am not sure about the affordability but let’s see what happens.

  4. John Murray

    I’m in the short and REO game (BRRRR) in Portland Oregon (97230). The market trend over the summer with shorts and REOs dwindling I chose to refinance this Oct and Nov. My last short completion was 1 Oct and was a 90 day renovation. Total my cost was about $85K and rent is $2400 per month. 2 years ago for a similar project my cost was about $65K with an abundance of shorts and REOs. I just purchased a an 1800 sf tri-level for $364K 4 bed 3 bath. My out of pocket will be about $95K. Maybe not the best deal but it has the most spectacular unobstructed view of Mt Saint Helen’s and Cascade Range. The prices were driven up so high over the summer by greedy home owners the closed properties were at a minimum. I waited to pounce on the best deal I could make. I will move in when I want and rent it for $2700 per month until I want to. I can watch all the worker bees trying to get home and wonder if I made the correct choice.

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