National Data

Data Shows Homeowners Just Aren’t Selling

By Mike Simonsen on March 27, 2023


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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.

While the first three months of 2023 have had significantly more housing demand than we expected coming out of the ice-cold fourth quarter, the real story of the year continues to be restricted supply of homes to meet that demand. The question for the rest of the year is whether that demand holds up, or whether the economy turns and uncertainty takes over like it did last fall. We haven’t seen any turn in the data yet, but we keep watching for it. 

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. Here’s the latest data as we roll into the last week of March.




There are 413,000 single family homes on the market this week across the US. That’s basically unchanged from last week. Actually a tiny fraction fewer. Inventory is still unchanged for three weeks in a row now. The lowest point was officially two weeks ago. In this chart we’re showing the inventory curve for each year. Each line here is a year. The pandemic years inventory are the lines at the bottom. That was both low supply and ravenous demand contributing to that scenario. You can see how last year inventory started rapidly increasing in the second quarter as mortgage rates rose.  That’s the light red line. Later in 2022 inventory has a second burst of listings in the fall which was very unusual, and was a reflection of how dramatically home buyer demand slowed at that time.

This year Q1 has seen significantly more demand that we expected. So inventory has fallen from the slow fall. The question for the rest of the year is how quickly the dark red line climbs. Does demand weaken again like last year? That’s going to be a question of the economy. Do we have big job losses coming? Do we have banking crises or other shocks coming? Even the uncertainty itself is a risk to derail housing demand from here. If demand weakens from here, this year’s inventory curve will slope up steeply like last year’s.
 If this year’s curve is like most of the years on this chart, then we’ll end the year with closer to 500,000 homes on the market again. Staying in this pattern of incredibly restricted supply.

If the economy tanks hard, then the curve could pick up quickly like last year. But there’s no indication anywhere in the data yet that any surge of inventory is imminent. There is no AirBnB bust or other investors that are unloading homes. Home owners in America are not interested in selling. Yet.


Median home price

Meanwhile spring home prices are ticking up slowly each week. The median price of all the homes on the market in the US right now is $433,000. If you walk into the market today, this is what you’ll see. It’s actually a little higher than last year.

The price of the new listings this week is $409,000 and that’s flat from last year at this time.  The price of the new listings reflects that sellers and listing agents know exactly where demand is in their local markets and they price in aggregate at the selling price point. The price of the new listings ticked up 2% this week. Last year you can see the light red line was sprinting higher each week at the tail end of the pandemic boom. So the year over year comparisons will continue to look unfavorable. The headlines will report negative year over year home price change for the next several months.


Pending sales


Pending sales numbers are just barely inching up each week. The If you’re looking to tie the pricing leading indicators most directly to the sales prices you hear in the headlines, it’s useful to look at the pendings. These are the homes that are in contract that’ll close in the next month or two. The median price of the pendings is $375,000 which is 1% lower than last year at this time. This will widen in the next few months too. You can see how the pendings price last year, the light red line, kept climbing pretty steeply until May.  So even though home prices aren’t falling right now, the year over year difference will continue to widen.  The headlines will exaggerate the decline from last year because the final sales prices last year included a lot of overbidding. That overbidding is largely gone now.

We’ve been talking for 9 or 10 months about how home prices for 2023 would be flat or down and that moment is now upon us. So like we saw today’s state last year, now it looks like another big economic shock like recession and job losses will have to hit before home prices take another step down. 


Price reductions

I expect price reductions to start ticking up next week. Once April is As I’ve mentioned we’re in this moment like we were at the beginning of last year when you expect the market to slow, but it hasn’t yet. Last year we kept looking for rising inventory and rising price reductions both of which hit record lows during the pandemic. This year price reductions are not at record lows. But they’re just on the high side of normal. Just over 30% of the homes on the market have taken a price cut as of this week. Now if recession or crisis or job losses start hitting housing demand, we’ll see sellers have to cut their prices like we saw last spring. A year ago in March we could just start to see the market cool compared to 2021. That cooling really accelerated starting in April.  As of right now this year, the trend is opposite that. Price reductions are not yet accelerating because supply is tight and demand is surprisingly resilient.

So again, we’re trying to be highly sensitive to market conditions changing. Will home prices turn south again? And we’ll see it here very quickly like we did in March and April last year when that finally happens.

This is of course national data, and local markets are behaving very differently from each other right now. If you need to get your local data to your buyers and sellers right now, you should join us at Altos Research. Go to and book time with our team to learn how to interpret the market signals for the people who need it most right now. They need you to be the expert for them.

If you're interested in keeping up with the housing market, please sign up for our weekly real estate market updates. Every Monday, I break down all the latest numbers on home prices and inventory, and look at the trends we can see in the Altos data weeks or even months before you see them in the headlines.

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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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