LOS ANGELES (NEWSnet/AP) — Homeowners eager to sell are lowering their initial asking price, as the spring homebuying season gets going.

Some 14.6% of U.S. homes listed for sale in February had their price lowered, according to Realtor.com. That’s up from 13.2% a year earlier, the first annual increase since May. In January, the percentage of homes on the market with price reduction was 14.7%.

The share of home listings that have had their price lowered is running slightly higher than the monthly average on data going back to January 2017.

That trend bodes well for prospective homebuyers navigating a housing market that remains unaffordable for many Americans. A chronically low supply of homes for sale has pushed home cost higher, even as U.S. sales slumped during the past two years.

“Sellers are cutting prices, but it just means we’re seeing smaller price gains than we would otherwise have seen,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.

The pickup in the share of home listings with price cuts is a sign the housing market is shifting back toward a more balanced dynamic between buyers and sellers. 

The share of properties that had their listing price lowered peaked in October 2018 at 21.7%. It got nearly as high as that, 21.5%, in October 2022.

In 2023, the percentage of home listings that had their asking price lowered jumped to 18.9% in October, as the average rate on a 30-year mortgage surged to a 23-year high of 7.79%, according to Freddie Mac.

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