Fewer sellers cut their list prices for the fifth straight month in January, according to a report by real estate brokerage ZipRealty.

The report covered 27 of 36 U.S. metropolitan areas in which the brokerage operates. The statistics in the monthly report reflect the brokerage’s multiple listing service data as of Jan. 4.

Sellers reduced the asking price on 40.4 percent, or 229,306, of available homes, down from 44.8 percent in December, to an average discount of $21,925, a rate 6.54 percent lower than the month before.

The median asking price of homes across the country was $258,634, a 0.97 percent decrease from December, and the average percentage reduction was 7.81 percent, a 5.22 percent decrease from December, the report said.

Although the raw number of homes for sale rose 2.87 percent from December, to 567,265, year-over-year inventory was down 22.3 percent.

"We have a lot fewer homes for sale right now than we did last year, and we are seeing more sellers sticking to their original list prices, rather than cutting them to try to attract buyers," said Pat Lashinsky, ZipRealty’s CEO.

The number of price reductions per listing, 2.06, stayed essentially flat with a 0.14 percent increase from December.

Jacksonville, Fla., and Phoenix, Ariz., saw the highest percentage discounts, 49.9 percent, or $19,910 in the former, and 48.8 percent, or $20,000 in the latter.

California metro-area sellers cut their prices the most in absolute dollars. San Diego was at the top with an average $44,901 reduction, followed by Orange County at $43,000 and San Francisco at $42,100.

At the other end of the spectrum, the average reduction among Houston, Texas, sellers was $10,000, followed closely by Dallas at $10,300.

Denver’s sellers reduced the least percentage of homes, 29.5 percent, followed by San Francisco, at 31.9 percent. Sellers in Los Angeles and San Diego reduced asking prices on 32.6 percent of homes, according to the report.


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