National Data

As More Homes Take a Price Cut, Will List Prices Drop?

By Mike Simonsen on May 20, 2024


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Mike Simonsen

Mike Simonsen is the founder and president of real estate analytics firm Altos Research, which has provided national and local real estate data to financial institutions, real estate professionals, and investors across the country for more than 15 years. An expert trendspotter, Mike uses Altos data to identify market shifts months before they hit the headlines.

When we look at the US housing data, the most notable trend recently is that price reductions are on the way up. There are more homes sitting on the market that didn’t get offers at their original list price and have had to reduce their prices than in any recent May.

What does this leading indicator data tell us about home prices for the rest of the year? Well, I have revised down my estimates for national home price appreciation for 2024. We don’t see home prices falling, but the growth sure looks like it has slowed or even stopped.

Every week Altos Research tracks every home for sale in the country. We analyze all the pricing, supply and demand, and all the changes in that data and we make it available to you before you see it in the traditional channels. If you aren’t using Altos market reports with your clients, your buyers and sellers, now might be the time to step up. Go to and book a free consult with our team. Because everyone is worried about what’s happening right now. They need you to help them see clearly. The data we cover here in these national videos is available for every zip code in the US. Join us to dive in.

I’m Mike Simonsen, I’m the founder of Altos Research. Let’s look at the data for the week of May 20, 2024. Please refer to the video below for all the charts I mention in this transcript!


Price Reductions


So let’s start today with the price reductions data. This is the percent of the homes on the market that have taken a price cut from the original list price. Price cuts are on the rise nationally. 34.4% of the homes on the market have taken a price cut. That’s up 70 basis point from a week ago. Last year at this time 29.9% of the homes on the market had price cuts. 

In this chart I’ve highlighted the last three years so you can compare. There are two dynamics to note when looking at the price cuts data: First the total level. How high is the line? The more homes with price reductions, the higher the line. This is a signal of organic levels of demand. When I say there are more homes now with price cuts than any recent May, you can see that here. You can also see that Price Reductions peak in November before resetting for the holidays and the fresh inventory in the spring. 

The second dynamic to watch here is the slope of the line. How many are cutting their prices each week. The slope shows us how fast the market is changing. Look at the light red line from 2022. In May of that year, price cuts were rolling in every week. We were jumping up and down trying to get home sellers to understand how quickly the market was changing. In September that year mortgage rates spiked to 7.5% and price reductions jumped even more. 

So the level and the slope. This year is elevated, more of the homes on the market have taken price cuts and the slope is pretty steep - meaning more homes each week are cutting prices because they don’t have offers from buyers. It’s not as steep as 2022. The market now is not shifting as quickly from big growth, to price decline like it did briefly about 18 months ago. But we can see that there is an upper limit to affordability for home buyers and sellers should absolutely be aware of this before they list their homes.

Price cuts are not evenly distributed across the country. They’re not evenly distributed across price points either. The southern states, especially Florida are dominating the price reductions now - In these markets inventory is growing more rapidly and other costs, such as insurance and taxes are up a lot. This makes buyers even more price sensitive.  Also, it’s very interesting to me that the 2022 price cuts happened in the Western boom markets like Phoenix and Boise and Salt Lake City. This year it’s Florida and the Southern markets.




So let’s switch to inventory. There are now 578,000 single family homes unsold on the market. That’s up 1.7% for the week and 36% more homes unsold than a year ago. 

In the inventory chart you can see inventory is growing and will continue to grow over the next few months. These are the unsold homes on the market. In this illustration each line is a year. In 2022 as unsold inventory was piling up, bringing us off the pandemic ultra lows, price reductions were rising hand in hand. 

Just like the price reductions are localized, so are the inventory changes. Many parts of the country still have very restricted inventory, just barely more than during the pandemic. In those places, like much of the northeast, supply is tight and well priced homes are selling immediately. It’s really important to keep this in mind this year. It helps us see that nationally, we’re not barrelling for a home price crash. The market overall is tempered with restricted supply in many places. 

However it is notable that as of this week every state now has more inventory than a year ago. New York and Nevada were the last holdouts with less inventory, but now they’re both positive. So inventory is growing everywhere and will continue to grow as long as mortgage rates stay elevated. 

Consumers react to changes in rates, and that’s why the inventory line from 2022 was climbing so fast. Much faster than it is now. It’s also why inventory could compress in the second half of the year if mortgage rates finally fall back into the 6s. 

New Listings

New Listings appears to have peaked for the year three weeks ago. There were just under 68,000 new listings unsold this week. That’s a pinch fewer sellers than last week, still 13% more sellers each week than a year ago.  But seller volume appears to have peaked for the year. 

In 2022, new listings kept growing until July as buyers and sellers were trying to get their deal done. As rates were rising, sellers were rushing to market. New listings volume fell off a cliff in July 2022. That July was a really important signal that as quickly as the market was changing, we weren’t in for a big crash, because supply was constricting. We have a little of that dynamic happening again now. 

I’ve illustrated that here for you in red. See this year’s dark line peaked in the last week of April. That’s not uncommon timing, but I had hoped we’d get a few more weeks of seller growth. I’m generally interested in seller growth as one of the vectors that allows for more sales to happen. More sales is healthier for everyone. We have 13% more sellers than last year, and 20% fewer sellers than two years ago. If you think about it, 20% fewer sellers is a big deal - that’s the difference between 5 million and 4 million home sales in 2024. 

It looks to me like we can only grow sales volume by a few percent yearly until we see more home sellers. 


Pending Home Sales

And that brings us to the pending home sales data. Along with new listings, the pace of sales has tapered off in the last few weeks. There are 401,000 single family homes in contract right now. That’s only a fraction more than last year at this time. There were 68,000 new contracts started this week for single family homes. That’s down 6% from a week ago, and essentially unchanged from the same week a year ago.

Bit of a disappointing week for home sales. It’s such a bummer. Each time this year when it looks like sales are starting to grow, then we have a few weeks of plateau and those annual gains evaporate. 

In this chart we have the total count of single family homes in contract each week. Each bar is a week. The taller the bar, the more home sales happening. The light portion of the bar are the new contracts pending in the given week. I’ve highlighted the comparison with last year. You can see home sales are running just a tiny bit ahead of 2023. 

Regionally you can see some sales gains in Texas with the greater available inventory. 

Much of the northeast is still what I describe as a supply-constrained market, with barely more inventory available for home buyers than during the pandemic. So the number of sales hasn’t really increased over last year in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania. In these markets, inventory is  still very low, and while there is enough demand to pick up the homes listed, there aren’t a lot listed, so sales are capped. 


Home Prices


The median price of all the single family homes in the US is $450,000 that’s unchanged for two years now. I’ve illustrated that for you here. The dotted lines show where we were each of the last two years. The median price of the newly listed homes for the week is a couple percent higher than last year at this time, but unchanged from two years ago. This moment in 2022 was the absolute peak for home prices. We don’t index or seasonally adjust these numbers. We’re simply counting everything. 

In May, we’re almost at the peak pricing for the year. Home prices peak in June each year. 
The new listings prices peaked in May, last week to be precise. The bright red line here you can see how last year peaked less than 2022. Home prices were down year over year at this moment. This year they’re up a smidge. Last year the momentum for the second half of the year was better. There were fewer price cuts, inventory was dropping vs. the year prior. The leading signals are opposite now, which is why I’m assuming the major price index headlines in the second half of the year will probably report declining home price growth and maybe even end up flat for the year 2024. Keep your eyes out for that trend to start soon.

And that’s why we do this data work each week. This market is trying to grow, but homebuyers are obviously sensitive to the cost of money. If you aren’t watching the data each week, you’re probably behind the curve. You have buyers and sellers who have no idea how this market is changing right now. They need to hear the data from you. If you need to help buyers and sellers see the actual data, you should join us at Altos.

Go to and book time with our team to learn more.

You can also run a free Altos real estate market report for any zip code in the U.S. and receive an update on that area in your inbox every week.

And, if you want to learn how to read and interpret all the stats in the report, I encourage you to download our free eBook: "How to Use Market Data to Build Your Real Estate Business."

See you next week!

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