As of the first day of this month, sellers had reduced prices on less than 20 percent of listed homes for the first time since Trulia started tracking price reductions in April 2009, the property search site announced in a report Tuesday.
The March report found that sellers had reduced prices at least once on 19 percent of the homes listed on the site, compared with 21 percent the month before. The report included about 3 million properties and excluded foreclosures and new homes from its calculations.
The average discount held steady at 11 percent off the original asking price, a total of $21.6 billion, the report said.
"As we get closer to the government incentives running out, we expect price reductions to increase as sellers begin to feel the pressure to lure buyers in, in advance of the tax credit expiration," said Pete Flint, Trulia co-founder and CEO.
Among the top 50 cities (in terms of population) in the country, those with the biggest percentage drop in discounted homes month-to-month are: Charlotte, N.C., which fell to 21 percent from 29 percent; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Houston, Texas; and Raleigh, N.C., which each fell to 21 percent from 26 percent; and Jacksonville, Fla., which fell to 30 percent from 36 percent.
The cities with the biggest percentage discounts overall were Milwaukee, Wis., at 33 percent, with an average 9 percent reduction totaling $17.2 million; Phoenix, Ariz., at 31 percent, with an average 13 percent reduction totaling $99 million; Mesa, Ariz., at 31 percent, with an average 14 percent reduction totaling $30.4 million; Memphis, Tenn., at 31 percent with an average 10 percent reduction totaling $24.1 million; and Baltimore, Md., at 30 percent, with an average 12 percent discount totaling $35.3 million.
New York City, at No. 35, saw $424.2 million of discounts, by far the greatest amount of the top 50 cities. Sellers discounted 20 percent of homes there with an average 10 percent knock-off.
The six cities with the lowest percentages of discounted listings are all in California. Sellers of 12 percent of Fresno’s listings slashed their prices, with an average 10 percent reduction, totaling $5.7 million overall. San Jose was next, also at 12 percent, with an average 8 percent price reduction totaling $15.7 million.
Sellers discounted 13 percent of Oakland, Calif., homes, with an average 13 percent shaved off the price, totaling $8.2 million. San Diego’s sellers cut down 13 percent of listings with an average 9 percent discount, totaling $44 million overall. Sellers discounted 15 percent of homes in Sacramento, with an average 9 percent knocked off, amounting to $11.1 million. San Francisco’s sellers reduced prices on 16 percent of listings with an average 9 percent cut, totaling $34.2 million.
Sellers in Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Hawaii and Maryland continued to see the biggest discrepancies in what buyers and sellers think is a fair price, the report said. About a quarter of listings in each had seen their asking prices marked down.
The luxury homes market above $1 million has seen the biggest discounts at a 14 percent average reduction, the report said. Some cities have been hit harder in this market: Columbus, Ohio, has seen an average 35 percent reduction; Mesa, Ariz., 22 percent; Cleveland, Ohio, 20 percent; Baltimore, Md., 18 percent; and Las Vegas, Nev., with an average 18 percent reduction.
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