RE/MAX Holdings Inc. signage is displayed outside of an open house in Redondo Beach, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Where Americans Made the Most Money Selling Their Homes in 2017

(Bloomberg) -- Americans selling homes in the nation’s hottest market last year made enough to turn around and buy a place for cash -- and still have spare change for a Tesla.

Sellers in San Jose, California, made a median gain of 54 percent on the homes they bought nine years earlier, the greatest price appreciation of three dozen markets in a report out Tuesday by real estate data provider Zillow. That translates to a profit of nearly $300,000, comfortably ahead of the current median U.S. home price of $215,000.

The San Francisco metropolitan area was close behind, with sellers racking up a 46 percent increase over the prices they paid at the beginning of 2010. That gain works out to more than $220,000.

Where Americans Made the Most Money Selling Their Homes in 2017

“A short supply of homes for sale has kept upward pressure” on prices, Zillow said in the report, noting that buyers are in a tough spot.

Sellers face their own challenges. Just over 70 percent last year were looking for a new home themselves, the report found. In about three-quarters of the metro areas Zillow studied -- notably New York, Baltimore, Washington and Chicago -- even robust gains from a sale weren’t enough to put 20 percent down on a home in the area. In New York, where the typical seller owned his or her home for almost 11 years, the median gain of 15 percent, or $46,000, didn’t come close to the typical down payment of $85,000.

For the U.S. as a whole, where sellers owned their homes for 8.4 years, they made a median profit of 21 percent, or $39,000, just missing the 20 percent down payment of $43,000.

Still, Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas noted, Americans in the nation’s hottest markets “have been able to cash in when they sell their homes,” wielding “an advantage over first-time buyers who may be coming in with smaller down payments.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.