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Cities With Least Realistic Home Prices

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.

It appears these price gaps between asking and actual sales prices continued into March. This week, Realtor.com reported that median list prices rose 5.6% in March from a year prior. Meanwhile, national median sales prices over this period rose just 2.5%, according to the NAR. March marks the beginning of the peak home buying season that stretches through the summer. List prices tend to rise with the temperature, says Julie Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Realtor.com.

Still, experts say asking prices in some cities appear to be way off. When there’s a $50,000 or more difference between the asking and selling price, that’s a sign that the house is likely overpriced, says Mark Goldman, real estate lecturer at San Diego State University’s Corky McMillin Real Estate Center. “Sellers and their agents are more optimistic than the buyers closing on deals,” he says.

For their part, realtors in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., say that the difference is largely due to lagging buyer demand for homes in the suburbs that’s led to homes selling at discounted prices. They say real estate in the city is in high demand and selling near asking prices. In some areas, foreclosure sales, which typically sell at a discount, are pulling selling prices of non-distressed homes down.

SmartMoney crunched the numbers to find the metro areas where the gap between listing prices and the actual purchase prices are the largest and the areas where they’re the smallest:



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    • -1′

    • I am NAR and you can rely on my “data.” Trust me…Have I ever lead you wrong before?

    • The truth is that banksters are MANIPULATING the nationwide RE market by carefully rationing the amount of distressed properties that they allow to TRICKLE onto the open market.

      At the same time, most Americans currently buying homes are FHA-sponsored DEADBEATS who can barely manage to scrape together the prerequisite 3% downpayment. Is it any wonder that 15% of these slobs fall into DEFAULT (yet again) withing the first 24 months?

      Good luck trying to “fix” the U.S. economy by openly promoting

      Why would ANYBODY with REAL

    • my best friend’s mother-in-law brought home $12987 the prior month. she is making income on the laptop and got a $519600 house. All she did was get fortunate and follow the steps explained on this link (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/z7U5j

    • Here in the Inland Empire (California’s San Bernardino / Riverside Counties) the asking for resale depends upon the seller. Whether the seller is selling short or bought too high and wants to get their money back. The medium 4 bedroom 3 bath 3,000 square foot home is $425,000 being listed as $500K plus. The selling price however averages $328K and is going downward on buy offers going lower. The figures are based upon 76 resale homes sold.

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