Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: May 5, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Homeowners who sold in the first quarter of 2017 averaged a 24 percent return, or $44,000, on their purchase price.

This is the highest average price gain since the third quarter of 2007, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q1 2017 U.S. Home Sales report. On average, these sellers had lived in their home for 7.97 years, down from a peak of 8 years in the previous quarter.

“The first quarter of 2017 was the most profitable time to be a home seller in nearly a decade, and yet homeowners are continuing to stay put in their homes longer before selling,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “This counterintuitive combination is in part the result of the low inventory of move-up homes available for current homeowners, while also perpetuating the scarcity of starter homes available for first-time homebuyers.”

The median home sales price across the country for this quarter was $225,00, a post-recession high. This represents a 2 percent increase from last quarter, and a 13 percent increase from this same time period last year.

Cash sales are down compared to the same time period last year. Thirty percent of purchases were cash in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 32.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016. The peak is 44 percent, which was in the first quarter of 2011.

Distressed sales made up 16.9 percent of sales this quarter, an increase of 1.4 percent from last quarter, but down 3.5 percent from this time period last year. At 30 percent, Philadelphia was one of the metro areas with a particularly high percentage of distressed sales.