BAM Key Details: 

  • ATTOM released its Year End 2023 Home Sales Report showing the first drop in home selling profits in over a decade amid modest home price gains. 
  • The southern and western regions of the U.S. reported the highest seller returns in 2023, along with the worst declines in profit margins. 
  • Gross seller profits still topped $100K in over half the U.S., with the largest clustered on the West Coast. 
  • Homeownership tenure reached a two-year high in 2023 as all-cash sales reached its highest level since 2014. 

On January 25, 2024, ATTOM released its Year-End 2023 U.S. Home Sales Report, showing a $121,000 seller profit on the typical home sale, resulting in a 56.5% return on investment (ROI). 

But while both gross profits and profit margins held steady at near record levels, they both declined from 2022, marking the first drops in either category since 2011. That said, 2023 holds the second-highest ROI for home sellers on record.

The gross profit on the sale of median-priced single-family homes fell from $122,600 in 2022, while the profit margin declined, year over year, from 59.8%. Both drops happened as the median national home price increased at the smallest annual pace in over a decade. 

Profits fell during a year of ups and downs for U.S. housing, with flat home price growth early in 2023, followed by a spring spike and a downward slide in the final quarter. Price growth fluctuated as strong labor and investment markets, along with tight housing supply, exerted upward pressure while rising mortgage rates kept many buyers on the bench. 

Last year certainly stood out as another very good year for home sellers across most of the United States. Typical profits of over $120,000 and margins close to 60 percent were still more than double where they stood just five years earlier. But the market definitely softened amid modest price gains that weren’t enough to push profits up higher after a long run of improvements. In 2024, the stage seems set for more small changes in prices as well as seller gains given the competing forces of interest rates that have headed back down in recent months and home supplies that remain tight, but home ownership costs that remain a serious financial burden for many households.

Rob Barber

CEO at ATTOM

Southern & western states reported the highest seller returns in 2023

Among the 129 metro areas in ATTOM’s analysis with a population higher than 200,000 and sufficient data, home sellers in the western and southern states saw the highest returns on investment in 2023. 

Of all the U.S. regions, the West and South had 12 of the 15 metros with the highest ROIs on typical home sales, led by— 

  • San Jose, CA (99.4% return on investment)
  • Knoxville, TN (98.1%)
  • Seattle, WA (92.9%)
  • Spokane, WA (90.6%)
  • Scranton, PA (89.6%)
Historical-US-Home-Seller-Gains

Source: ATTOM

The U.S median home price grew at the slowest pace since 2011

ATTOM’s report shows a 2.1% annual increase in the U.S. median home price from 2022 to 2023, hitting another all-time annual high of $335,000. 

The typical 2023 home price is more than double the national median in 2011—right before the U.S. housing market began to recover from the aftereffects of the Great Recession of the late 2000s. 

That 2023 increase, however, was the smallest annual uptick during the extended housing boom period that started in 2012. 

Median home price appreciation for 2023 slowed down as interest rates shot up to 8% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage in October. But while gains were mostly small across the U.S., median home prices still increased from 2022 to 2023 in 97, or 75%, of the 129 metro areas with populations of at least 200,000 and sufficient home price data. 

Metros with the biggest annual increases were— 

  1. Hilton Head, SC (median home price rose 12.2%)
  2. Naples, FL (up 10.6%)
  3. Hartford, CT (up 10.5%)
  4. Savannah, GA (up 10.5%)
  5. Rochester, NY (up 9.7%)

Aside from Hartford, CT, and Rochester, NY, the largest annual increases in median home prices among metros with populations of one million or more in 2023 were in— 

  • Miami, FL (+8.6%)
  • Cincinnati, OH (+8.1%)
  • Milwaukee, WI (+6.9%)

Metros with the largest annual declines in median home prices in 2023 were led by— 

  1. Austin, TX (down 6.2%)
  2. San Francisco, CA (down 4.4%)
  3. Stockton, CA (down 4.4%) 
  4. Boise, ID (down 4.1%) 
  5. Phoenix, AZ (down 3.8%)

Profit margins fall in two-thirds of U.S., with worst declines in West & South

Profit margins on typical home sales dropped from 2022 to 2023 in 84 of the 129 U.S. metros with sufficient data (65%). That drop happened as the 2.3% increase in the national median sale price in 2023 lagged behind the typical 4.4% increase recent sellers had paid when they originally purchased their homes. 

The 40 largest declines in investment returns (ROI) were all in the South and West regions, with these five metros in the lead:  

  1. Port St. Lucie, FL (ROI down from 104.5% in 2022 to 82.7% in 2023)
  2. Austin, TX (down from 67.2% to 46.2%) 
  3. Phoenix, AZ (down from 79.3% to 60.6%) 
  4. Reno, NV (down from 80.6% to 64.5%)
  5. Salt Lake City, UT (down from 68.3% of 52.

Aside from Austin, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, the biggest drops in ROI from 2022 to 2023 in metros with populations of one million or more were in— 

  • San Francisco, CA (ROI down from 92.7% to 79.5%)
  • Las Vegas, NV (down from 74.3% to 61.8%)

Metros with the biggest annual increases in ROI were led by— 

  1. Scranton, PA (ROI up from 75.1% to 89.6%)
  2. South Bend, IN (up from 53.6% to 66.5%)
  3. Hartford, CT (up from 53.2% to 65.8%)
  4. Rockford, IL (up from 48.8% to 57.8%)
  5. Rochester, NY (up from 53.8% to 62.8%)

Aside from Hartford and Rochester, the biggest annual increases in ROI among metros with populations of one million or more were in— 

  • Cincinnati, OH (up from 54.8% to 61.2%)
  • Cleveland, OH (up from 48% to 53.4%) 
  • Milwaukee, WI (up from 52.9% to 57.2%)

Gross profits are still over $100K in more than half of the U.S., with the biggest profits clustered on the West Coast 

Despite the small national decline, gross profits from home sales still topped $100,000 in 77, or 60%, of the 129 U.S. metros with sufficient data to analyze. Western states had 12 of the top 15 gross profits in 2023, led by— 

  1. San Jose, CA ($698,000)
  2. San Francisco, CA ($476,000)
  3. San Diego, CA ($354,000)
  4. Los Angeles, CA ($330,000)
  5. Seattle, WA ($325,000)

Meanwhile, southern and midwestern states had the 15 smallest gross profits, reflecting the lower home prices in those regions compared to the West and Northeast. Metros with those 15 smallest profits were led by— 

  1. Peoria, IL ($35,500)
  2. Davenport, IA ($41,052)
  3. McAllen, TX ($46,167)
  4. Baton Rouge, LA ($47,600)
  5. Toledo, OH ($49,800)

Homeownership tenure reached a two-year high, soaring well above tenures in the 2000s

U.S. homeowners who sold in the final quarter of 2023 had owned their properties for an average 7.96 years—up from 7.8 years in Q3 2023 and from 7.67 years in Q4 2022. That last figure was the highest point reached since Q3 2021. 

Average seller tenures increased, year over year, in 80, or 71%, of the 113 metros with populations of 200,000 or more and sufficient data to analyze. 

The biggest annual increases in average seller tenure from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023 were in— 

  1. Chico, CA (up 20.9%)
  2. Modesto, CA (up 12.7%)
  3. Clearlake, CA (up 11.9%)
  4. Madera, CA (up 11.2%)
  5. Tucson, AZ (up 10.5%)
ATTOM-Average-Homeownership-tenure-2023

Source: ATTOM

The longest tenures for home sellers in Q4 2023 were in— 

  1. Barnstable, MA (14.18 years)
  2. Santa Cruz, CA (13.2 years)
  3. Bridgeport, CT (13.14 years)
  4. New Haven, CT (13.08 years)
  5. Worcester, MA (12.57 years)

All-cash sales hit their highest point since 2014

All-cash home purchases accounted for 38% of single-family and condo sales nationwide in 2023—the highest share of sales since 2014. 

That 38% is up from 36.1% in 2022, though it still lags behind the 44.7% peak reached in 2011—the highest so far for this century. 

Among the 186 U.S. metros with populations of 200,000 or more and sufficient data, those where cash sales represent the largest share of total home sale transactions in 2023 include— 

  1. Macon, GA (61.5% of sales)
  2. Naples, FL (58.9%)
  3. Myrtle Beach, SC (56.3%)
  4. Youngstown, OH (55.1%)
  5. Salisbury, MD (54.4%)
ATTOM_Historical-US-Home-Sales-by-Type-2023

Source: ATTOM

Lender-owned foreclosure purchases rose slightly in 2023—still one of the lowest levels since 2005

Just 1.5% of single-family home sales in 2023 were foreclosure sales to lenders—up from 1.2% in 2022 but still the third lowest level since 2005 and far below the peak of 23.6% in 2009. 

States where lender-purchased (REO) foreclosure sales accounted for the largest share of total home sales in 2023 were— 

  1. Illinois (3.9% of sales)
  2. Michigan (3.9%)
  3. Wyoming (3.3%)
  4. Louisiana (3.1%)
  5. Alaska (2.9%)

Among 156 metros with populations of 200,000 or more and sufficient data, those where lender-purchased foreclosure sales accounted for the largest shares of total home sales in 2023 were— 

  1. Binghamton, NY (8.5% of sales)
  2. Flint, MI (8.4%)
  3. Peoria, IL (6%)
  4. Lansing, MI (4.8%)
  5. Macon, GA (4.6%)

Among the 55 metros with populations of one million or more, those with the highest shares of lender-purchased foreclosure sales were— 

  1. St. Louis, MO (3.9% of sales)
  2. Chicago, IL (3.6%)
  3. Detroit, MI (3.5%)
  4. Honolulu, HI (2.9%)
  5. Birmingham, AL (2.8%)

Metros with the smallest shares of lender-purchased foreclosure sales: 

  1. Raleigh, NC (0.3% of sales)
  2. Denver, CO (0.3%)
  3. Phoenix, AZ (0.4%)
  4. Tucson, AZ (0.4%)
  5. San Francisco, CA (0.4%)

All five of the above metros had populations of at least one million in 2023.

Institutional investing is down from 2022—but still higher than previous years

Nationwide, institutional investors accounted for 6.1% of all U.S. single-family home and condo sales in 2023—down from 7.6% in 2022 but still higher than previous years. 

Among U.S. metros with populations of 200,000 or more and sufficient data, those with the highest shares of institutional investor transactions in 2023 were— 

  1. Memphis, TN (14.3%)
  2. Indianapolis, IN (11.6%)
  3. Yuma, AZ (11.1%)
  4. Atlanta, GA (10.4%)
  5. Birmingham, AL (10.2%)

FHA sales turn around from three-year decline

Homebuyers using Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans accounted for 8.8% of all U.S. single-family and condo sales in 2023—up from 7.5% in 2022, marking the first increase in this share after three consecutive year-over-year declines. 

Among U.S. metros with populations of 200,000 or more and sufficient data, those with the highest shares of home purchases made with FHA loans in 2023 were— 

  1. Merced, CA (24.2 percent of sales)
  2. Bakersfield, CA (22.3 percent)
  3. Lakeland, FL (21.8 percent)
  4. Visalia, CA (19.4 percent)
  5. Modesto, CA (19 percent)

Read the full report for more information, including methodology.