Home sellers made record profits last year; will 2019 be the same?

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

U.S. sellers average $61K in profits

Last year was a good time to sell your home, apparently. According to new data, U.S. home sellers made record profits in 2018, clocking in with an average of $61,000 per sale.

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The year of sky-high sales

According to the Year-End 2018 U.S. Home Sales Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, the average home seller made $61K last year. That’s a jump of $11,000 from 2017 and nearly $22,000 from 2016. It’s the highest average home seller profit since 2006.

Want a fast, lucrative sale? What day you list your home matters

On average, home sellers made a 32.6 percent return on their investment — up from 21.9 percent in 2016. According to Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM, sellers on the coasts saw the most profits.

“While 2018 was the most profitable time to sell a home in more than 12 years, those along the coasts, reaped the most gains,” Teta said. “However, those are the same areas where homeowners are staying put longer.”

The highest seller ROIs were seen in San Jose, California, where the average seller made a 108.8 percent return on their investment. San Francisco came in second with a 78.6 percent ROI, and Seattle came in third at 70.7 percent.

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Cold, hard cash

Many of those profits came by way of cold, hard cash. According to ATTOM’s data, 27.8 percent of all purchases were made in all cash. Though that share has held steady the last two years, it’s still significantly higher than the pre-recession average, when cash purchases made up only 18.7 percent of sales.

The most cash purchases happened in the South, with Mongomery, Alabama, claiming the top spot. More than 53 percent of home purchases in the city were made in all cash last year.

Naples, Florida; Macon, Georgia; Cape Coral-Fort Myer, Florida; and North Port-Sarasota, Florida also had above-45 percent shares of all-cash purchases.

Surprising strategies to beat an all-cash offer

Get today’s mortgage rates

Looking to sell your house and cash in on the profits? Want to move on to a bigger, better property? Then shop around and see what rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Aug 26th, 2019)