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Real Estate

Affordability divides America’s cities

Buyers in large metros see listing prices decline, while smaller markets see prices increase

In November, while home sales in large U.S. metros cooled off, smaller affordable markets continued to heat up, according to the latest realtor.com Housing Report.

Realtor.com notes that although U.S. housing inventory climbed 4% in November, the increase was more rapid in large expensive metros where inventory rose more than 9%.

In fact, seven of the 10 largest year-over-year increases occurred on the West Coast. Unsurprisingly, five of these cities were located in the Golden State, according to the report.

"The housing market is a 'tale of two cities' as the divergence widens between high-cost, large urban areas, and smaller, more affordable markets," Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said.

"Buyers in larger metros are seeing more homes on the market and listing prices decline, while those in smaller markets continued to see price increases,” Hale concluded.

Notably, listings that experienced a price cut grew to 22% in November, up from last year’s total of 19%. Realtor.com attributes this growth to the nation’s largest markets. In these metros, 40 of the 45 top markets saw an increase in reductions.

These are the metros with the greatest price reductions:

  • San Jose, California increased 33%
  • Indianapolis, Indiana increased 15%
  • Seattle, Washington increased 12%
  • San Francisco, California increased 9%
  • San Diego, California increased 9 %

According to the company, November’s median listing price is slightly down from October, but up 9% from November 2017. Interestingly, 35 of 45 metro areas experienced an increase in gains in their median listing price year over year.

Realtor.com indicates that although prices continue to rise nationally, the majority of the gains are from smaller markets.

These are the metros with the greatest median list price growth:

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee increased 17%
  • Spokane, Washington increased 15%
  • Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina increased 14%

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