With the benefit of hindsight, millions of U.S. homeowners inclined to sell would have been better off doing it last spring.

The average profit margin on the sale of median-priced single-family homes and condos fell to 44% last quarter, from a peak of 56% in the second quarter of 2022, according to data published Thursday by Attom, a real estate analytics firm. The numbers cover homes in metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more.

U.S. housing prices have been under pressure as the Federal Reserve jacked up borrowing costs. Benchmark rates for 30-year fixed mortgages have been above 6.5% for most of this year, roughly double what they were at the end of 2021, pushing monthly payments sharply higher.

“Homeowners are starting to take a significant hit in the form of lost profits from the recent market slowdown,” said Rob Barber, Attom’s chief executive officer. “Nine months of varying price declines around the country have carved away almost a quarter of the profit margin sellers were enjoying in early 2022. That’s a striking reversal of what we saw for a decade.” 

Median home prices in the first quarter of 2023 were down from the previous three months, or flat, in 75% of the metro areas analyzed by Attom. Only six of the 139 metro areas saw prices hit a new high.

In dollar terms, areas with the most expensive homes are now seeing the biggest profit declines. Sellers of median-priced homes in places like San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle are still posting substantial gains—just not as much as they would’ve gotten last spring. 

From mid-2008 to early 2014, the typical home seller in a larger U.S. metro area lost money on the sale—with the trough coming in the first quarter of 2009, when the loss reached $46,500, according to Attom data.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.