Zillow: Market conditions growing more local

Analysis: Sellers have a leg up in the West, but buyers enjoy edge elsewhere

Different regions will offer diverging levels of negotiating power for buyers and sellers across the country heading into the spring homebuying season, signaling advancement toward a healthier housing market where market conditions tend to be local rather than national, according to a recent analysis by Zillow.

In the West, sellers will likely have the upper hand over buyers thanks to a strong jobs market and the limited supply that has driven rapid price appreciation, Zillow said. In contrast, Zillow forecast that buyers in Midwestern and East Coast metros — where prices have risen at a slower pace and homes tend to stay on the market for longer — will likely enjoy an edge over sellers.

Housing markets image via Shutterstock.
Housing markets image via Shutterstock.

Zillow said the bifurcation of buying and selling conditions across the U.S. partly reflects the housing market’s continued shift to a healthier state.

“Real estate has always been local, and as the spring market gains momentum, this old adage will only become more pronounced,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement.

As part of the analysis, Zillow ranked the top buyer’s and seller’s markets. The top 10 seller’s markets were:

  • 1. San Jose
  • 2. San Francisco
  • 3. San Antonio, Texas
  • 4. Los Angeles
  • 5. Seattle
  • 6. Riverside, Calif.
  • 7. Denver
  • 8. Washington, D.C.
  • 9. Sacramento
  • 10. Dallas-Fort Worth

The top 10 buyer’s markets were:

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  • 1. Cleveland
  • 2. Philadelphia
  • 3. Tampa
  • 4. Chicago
  • 5. Pittsburgh
  • 6. Cincinnati
  • 7. New York
  • 8. Detroit
  • 9. Baltimore
  • 10. St Louis

In February, home values barely increased month over month, but were up 5.6 percent from a year earlier, as inventory posted a 5.5 percent year-over-year gain, Zillow also reported.

Realtor.com recently registered even steeper growth in inventory, finding that the number of homes for sale increased 10.1 percent in February compared to a year ago.


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