Home-Sale Discounts Jump 24%

Inventory is up 13.6% in 26 major markets

By Inman News, Friday, October 8, 2010.

The number of homes that experienced price cuts jumped 24.2 percent in September compared to the same month last year, according to a monthly review of multiple listing service listings in 26 major markets conducted by national online brokerage ZipRealty.

The share of price-reduced homes rose for the seventh straight month in September. Sellers cut asking prices on 2.1 percent more homes last month compared to August — a total of 323,316 homes.

Meanwhile, total inventory rose 0.6 percent from August and 13.6 percent from September 2009 to a total of 675,872 homes. The share of discounted homes is therefore 47.8 percent, up from 43.8 percent in September 2009 when 260,358 homes had experienced a price cut.

On average, sellers had reduced their list prices twice last month. The median reduction was $19,165 — 0.4 percent higher than in August but 24.5 percent lower than in September 2009. Median list price last month was $245,265, down 1.8 percent from August and 15.3 percent lower than in September 2009.

“Sellers appear to be cutting their prices again,” said Leslie Tyler, ZipRealty’s vice president of marketing, in a statement. “Last spring the tax credit helped to bring buyers into the market, and we didn’t see sellers reducing prices by as much. But now sellers seem to be cutting prices more aggressively going into the typically slower fall and winter seasons.”

Sellers had discounted more than half of listings at least once in 10 of the 26 metro areas surveyed.