The Latest in “Buyer Friendly” Real Estate Markets

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Home shopping season is almost here, and prospective buyers in Florida and the New York metro area can expect more favorable conditions than those in most other major markets, a new Zillow® analysis reveals.

Zillow’s Buyer-Seller Index shows how hot a region’s housing market is compared to others by analyzing sale-to-list-price ratios, percentage of listings with a price cut and how long homes stay on the market.

Among the nation’s 35 largest metro areas, Miami (second coolest), Tampa (seventh) and Orlando(eighth) combine to show buyers in Florida will have an easier home-shopping experience than buyers in most other markets. That’s not to say those markets should be thought of as cold. In fact, all three have seen year-over-year home-value growth the same or higher than nation as a whole, and all three are seeing steady demand to go along with good supply.

By contrast, San FranciscoSan JoseSeattle and Denver all have seen home values grow more slowly than the nation over the past year, but remain the four hottest markets relative to elsewhere. That’s largely because, despite some of the highest prices in the country, buyers face more competition for a more-limited inventory. But the winds are rapidly shifting and they are expected to cool further this year.

In fact, the New York metro area — hardly thought of as an affordable or cold real estate market — is the most buyer-friendly market right now. People who can afford to buy in the New York metro face relatively little competition that incites bidding wars, and properties sit longer on the market. It’s pricey New York City, in fact, that’s among the most buyer-friendly within the metro area, while New Jersey cities such as MontclairBloomfield and New Brunswick far more heavily favor sellers.

“Blanket sellers markets are history,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas. “While inventory remains tight, it is starting to climb. The housing market has cooled and in a growing number of markets, buyers are gaining more and more leverage – especially those well-heeled buyers willing to pay top dollar in pricey communities. However, the crunch is still on in more affordable areas so the bulk of buyers continue to see some competition, though somewhat less than a few months ago.”

Overall, the housing market still favors sellers but is slowing, trending toward historical norms. Inventory is the highest it’s been in a year, and the number of homes that sold for more than their list price decreased from 21 percent in November to 19 percent in December – the largest month-over-month drop in seasonally adjusted data since at least 2012, according to a recent Zillow analysis. The share has been declining steadily since its peak of 24 percent of homes sold above list price in May 2018.

Metropolitan Area 
(Ranked Most 
Buyer-Friendly to 
Most Seller-Friendly)

Median 
Home 
Value

Median 
Days On 
Market

Most Buyer-Friendly City

Most Seller-Friendly City

New York, NY

$438,300

132

North Castle, NY

Montclair, NJ

Miami, FL

$283,800

99

Bal Harbour, FL

South Miami Heights, FL

Baltimore, MD

$267,900

97

Centreville, MD

Columbia, MD

Chicago, IL

$224,800

102

Glencoe, IL

Kenosha, WI

Philadelphia, PA

$232,700

90

Harrison, NJ

King of Prussia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

$143,900

87

Monroeville, PA

Ross, PA

Tampa, FL

$213,600

75

Wimauma, FL

Madeira Beach, FL

Orlando, FL

$237,100

84

Lady Lake, FL

Sorrento, FL

Houston, TX

$205,500

89

Bellaire, TX

Dickinson, TX

Riverside, CA

$367,100

83

Apple Valley, CA

Ontario, CA

San Antonio, TX

$192,800

77

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Converse, TX

Washington, DC

$406,200

82

Prince Frederick, MD

Franconia, VA

Detroit, MI

$160,000

78

Oakland, MI

Madison Heights, MI

Cleveland, OH

$145,600

82

Shaker Heights, OH

North Olmsted, OH

San Diego, CA

$591,400

75

Rancho Santa Fa, CA

Santee, CA

Boston, MA

$467,000

74

Weston, MA

Cambridge, MA

St. Louis, MO

$167,000

76

Town and Country, MO

Affton, MO

Austin, TX

$308,200

74

Lago Vista, TX

Kyle, TX

Los Angeles, CA

$652,300

75

Malibu, CA

West Hollywood, CA

Minneapolis, MN

$268,100

74

Orono, MN

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Portland, OR

$397,300

80

Happy Valley, OR

Hillsboro, OR

Cincinnati, OH

$168,900

74

Union, KY

Amelia, OH

Charlotte, NC

$206,200

71

Tega Cay, SC

Indian Trail, NC

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

$242,600

71

Celina, TX

Cedar Hill, TX

Las Vegas, NV

$277,900

69

Boulder City, NV

North Las Vegas, NV

Indianapolis, IN

$163,900

70

Zionsville, IN

Lawrence, IN

Atlanta, GA

$217,500

77

Milton, GA

Forest Park, GA

Columbus, OH

$189,900

71

Galena, OH

Gahanna, OH

Sacramento, CA

$408,700

67

Granite Bay, CA

Citrus Heights, CA

Phoenix, AZ

$264,900

61

Cave Creek, AZ

El Mirage, AZ

Kansas City, MO

$191,600

66

Leawood, KS

Gladstone, MO

Denver, CO

$405,300

65

Elizabeth, CO

Westminster, CO

Seattle, WA

$489,700

77

Eatonville, WA

Tacoma, WA

San Jose, CA

$1,245,800

61

Hollister, CA

Sunnyvale, CA

San Francisco, CA

$957,400

57

Oakley, CA

San Francisco, CA

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