Question of the Day: What is the median sales price for existing homes in the U.S.?

Nov 29, 2017
Mortgages, Math, Economics

Answer: $247,000 (as of October 2017)

From National Association of Realtors:

"The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from October 2016 ($234,100). October's price increase marks the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains.Total housing inventory3 at the end of October decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months."


  • Do these prices seem to match the real estate prices in your town or city? Are they higher or lower than you would expect?
  • What do you think are some factors that explain price differences in different areas of the country? 
  • There are two pieces of information provided in the statement above about the housing market; prices and inventory (which is the number of houses for sale). How would you describe the relationship between prices and inventory? As inventory decreases, I would expect prices to.....
  • Based on the information provided above, how would you describe the state of the real estate market in the U.S.?


Here are the ready-to-use slides for class.  


Here's a engaging activity also focused on local real estate markets: Analyze: How Has the Housing Market in Your Neighborhood Performed Since 2004? 



About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.