The asking price is the starting point for all home sales, a ballpark figure typically close to what buyers end up paying. But the nation’s real estate market is so out of whack, experts say, that in many cities the gap between the asking and purchase prices has grown enormous. In fact, while home sales are on the decline nationally, list prices keep rising.
Existing single-family home sales fell 2.6% in March from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.48 million units, according to data released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, the median sales price rose to $163,800, up 5% from February and up 2.5% from a year prior. On a national level, the data suggests that individuals who are buying homes are willing to pay more. On a regional level, however, buyers’ offers vary significantly.
In some markets, sellers aren’t getting what they’re asking for or anywhere near it. In the Atlanta metro area, for instance, the median list price was $150,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. But the median sales price was just $90,600 at the end of the year, according to the latest data from the NAR. In Jacksonville, Fla., the median listing price is 34% higher than the median sales price, while in Washington D.C. it’s 13% higher.
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