Report: Fewer homes in Greater Boston sold for above the asking price

The hottest market was Malden, according to the report, with 53.6 percent of the homes there going for above asking. Joanne Rathe/Globe staff/File 2010

The smallest share of homes sold for above their list price in 2018 than in any year since 2016, according to a report the Zillow real estate site released Thursday.

About a fifth of the homes sold in the United States last year went for above the asking price, according to the report. That’s down 21.5 percent from 2018. In Greater Boston, the percentage of homes that sold for above asking dropped from 40 percent in 2018 to 34.7 percent last year. The typical amount sellers in the region got above asking was $11,100.

The hottest market was Malden, according to the report, with 53.6 percent of the homes there going for above asking. Ranking second was Cambridge, at 50.7 percent. Newton was the coolest market; roughly 28 percent of the homes in that city sold for above the listing price last year.

“The housing market took a breather in 2019, after years of red-hot sellers’ markets,” Jeff Tucker, Zillow economist said. “Many sellers were caught off-guard by the changing conditions and ended up accepting offers at or below list prices that were dreamed up during the height of the frenzy. But the cloudy outlook for sellers began to clear late in the year after inventory buildups in several cities were whittled back down to record lows, suggesting a hot spring sellers’ market is around the corner.”

Despite seeing recent year-over-year drops in home value, San Francisco (48.6 percent) and San Jose (38.8 percent) topped the list of 35 metros with the greatest share of homes that sold above the list price — a sign of just how competitive the Bay Area remains even after cooling significantly in 2019. Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul (34.3 percent), and Seattle (31.2 percent) had the next-highest shares.

The coolest top-35 markets were Miami (8.9 percent), Las Vegas (12.6 percent), and Tampa (13.3 percent). Las Vegas fell from 26.8 percent a year ago. Only San Jose’s share decreased by more, from 63.6 percent to 38.8 percent.

The median amount above asking that U.S. sellers realized was $5,100, down from $5,500 in 2018 and the lowest since at least 2011. San Jose ($41,000 above asking) and San Francisco ($37,500) lead the country. Still, these figures are much lower than a year ago when San Jose homes typically sold for $101,000 above asking and those in San Francisco went for $50,000 more.