12/12/2012BY: TORY BARRINGER
A new report from Zillow shows home sellers in the West tend to have the greatest advantages over buyers when it comes to negotiation, while buyers in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic areas are likelier to come out of a sale with more left in their wallets.
For its latest research brief, Zillow analyzed data on actual sales prices compared to asking prices, the number of days listings spent on Zillow, and the percentage of homes on the market with a price cut.
“As most housing markets continue to improve nationwide, the relative position of buyers and sellers continues to vary considerably by geography,” said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. “In some markets, buyers are finding themselves in strong bargaining positions relative to sellers, confidently offering less than the asking price on a home they had months to consider. In other areas, it’s sellers that are squarely in the driver’s seat with their homes selling within days of listing, often after bidding wars that increase the sale price above the asking price.”
The 30 largest metro areas in the country were then ranked according to their Buyer-Seller Index values. A low number on the index indicates a sellers’ market, while the converse is true for a buyers’ market.
With the exception of Washington, D.C., the top sellers’ markets are all in the West, with six of the top eight located in California. Non-Golden Gate State entries include Las Vegas, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; and Phoenix, Arizona.
The top sellers’ market in the country is San Jose, California, which earns a 0.1 on the index. The median length of time a home stays on the market in San Jose is 50 days, and the sale-to-list price ratio is 1.012.
San Francisco and Sacramento followed for the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
Besides their geographic location, the top sellers’ markets have one major commonality, according to Humphries.
“Many of the strongest sellers’ markets are in areas that were hardest hit by the housing bust, places like California, Nevada and Arizona, which may seem counter-intuitive. But much of that strength is driven by investor interest, as many distressed and non-distressed homes are purchased and transformed into rentals,” he said. “This investor activity is contributing to very low inventory levels, which increases demand and helps drive up prices, particularly for less expensive homes in these markets.”
Biggest Sellers’ Markets
1. San Jose, California (0.1)
2. San Francisco, California (0.1)
3. Sacramento, California (0.7)
4. Las Vegas, Nevada (0.8)
5. Phoenix, Arizona (0.9)
Biggest Buyers’ Markets
1. Chicago, Illinois (8.1)
2. Cleveland, Ohio (8.0)
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (7.9)
4. Cincinnati, Ohio (7.6)
5. New York, New York (7.6)