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Seller’s market: Profits on home sales climb 16% in second quarter for a total ROI of 36%

But sellers in Denver, Boston and San Francisco weren't so lucky

Home sellers gained on average a $75,971 profit on a typical sale in the second quarter of 2020, according to a U.S home sales report from ATTOM Data Solutions. Up from $65,250 in the first quarter, home sellers experienced a 36.3% ROI compared to the original purchase price.

The latest quarterly figure represented another post-recession high – breaking the 34.5% ROI record in the first quarter, and the 33.7% home sellers saw this same time last year.

“The housing market across the United States pulled something of a high-wire act in the second quarter, surging forward despite the encroaching economic headwinds resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Todd Teta, CPO at ATTOM Data Solutions.

According to the report, 81 of the 104 metropolitan areas the data analyzed experienced profit margin gain from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. The largest annual profit margin increases occurred in:

  • Spokane, WA – up from 61.2% to 76%
  • Columbus, OH – up from 34% to 47%
  • St. Louis – up from 19.9% to 31.4%
  • Chattanooga, TN – up from 31.9% to 43.4%
  • Indianapolis – up from 30.5% to 41.9%

Aside from Columbus, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, metros with a population of at least 1 million with the greatest profit margin gains were Rochester, NY and Kansas City, MO, the report said.

However, not every metro experienced year over year gain. Despite ATTOM Data Solutions reporting East Coast housing markets are most at risk of economic impact from COVID-19, the cities that experienced the greatest drop in profit margin varied across the country:

  • Pittsburgh – down to 20.9% from 28.6%
  • Modesto, CA – down to 51.1% from 58.7%
  • Honolulu – down to 36.2% from 43.8%
  • Greely, CO – down to 35.4% from 41.5%
  • Naples, FL – down to 16.7% from 22.1%

Aside from Pittsburgh, metros with a population of at least 1 million with the greatest loss in profit margin was Denver, Grand Rapids, MI, San Francisco and Boston.

As profits and profit margins rose in the second quarter, median home prices also experienced an average 6% gain year-over-year in 97 of the 104 metros analyzed, according to the report.

“No doubt, a lot of the ongoing prosperity resulted from gains seen before the pandemic started racing through the country in February and March,” Teta said. “Indeed, there have been recent signs of prices flattening out or dropping across significant parts of the country, and the economic toll from the virus continues to be a major issue. But the second quarter results showed continuing strength in most parts of the nation.”

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