Homebuyers gain bargaining power

Many California markets run counter to trend

Homebuyers negotiated higher discounts in December, according to a study by real estate search and valuation site Zillow.

Buyers nationwide haggled a median 2.7 percent, or $5,618, off the last listing price of homes sold in December, a slight increase from 2.6 percent, or $5,538, in November, and the first and only month-to-month increase in 2009. Bargaining power decreased significantly year-over-year, however. In December 2008, buyers were able to knock a median 4.5 percent, or $10,018, off the last listing price.