It's a good time to be a seller.
Home sellers in 2016 saw the highest profits since 2007, averaging a 21 percent gain, or $38,206, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report. Sellers in San Jose and San Francisco, Calif. saw the highest gain, at 69 percent, as well as those in Santa Rosa, Calif., at 52 percent, Los Angeles, Calif., at 49 percent, and Seattle, Wash., at 48 percent.
Forty-four percent of housing markets reached all-time price peaks in 2016, according to the report, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas ($230,571), Houston, Texas ($214,795) and Atlanta, Ga. ($181,000). The median home price in 2016 was $218,175, a 6.8 percent increase from 2015 and a 45 percent increase from the 2011 low. The highest median home prices were in New York County ($1.4 million), San Francisco County ($1.175 million) and San Mateo County ($1.075 million).
The share of distressed sales—bank-owned (REO) sales, foreclosure auction sales ("sheriff's" or "trustee's") and short sales—in 2016 tumbled to 16.2 percent from 18.8 percent in 2015, a nine-year low. Atlantic City, N.J. saw the most distressed sales at 43.8 percent, followed by Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va. at 33.2 percent and Rockford, Ill. at 29.2 percent. More foreclosure auctions were sold to third-party buyers in 2016, comprising 28.5 percent of all completed auctions.
"The housing market hit several important milestones in 2016, with distressed sales at a nine-year low and home prices at a 10-year high, just barely below the pre-recession peak in 2006," says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. "This was all good news for home sellers, who realized their biggest average profits since purchase nationwide in 2016. Even distressed property sellers are benefitting from this hot seller's market, with a record-high share of homes at foreclosure auction being purchased by third-party buyers, rather than reverting back to the foreclosing bank."