Homes in the country’s top 10 "hottest" ZIP codes sold for significantly less above asking price in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, according to a quarterly report by online brokerage ZipRealty.

ZipRealty’s "Home Hunter Report" is based on multiple listing service data from 5,400 cities in 33 of the 35 major metropolitan areas where ZipRealty operates. The data covers the period between July 1 and Sept. 30.

The hottest ZIP codes were defined as those in which homes sold for the most above listing price on a percentage basis; homes in the "coldest" ZIP codes sold for the largest percentage under listing price.

Homes in the top 10 hottest ZIP codes sold for an average 4.7 percent above asking price last quarter, compared with 13 percent at the same time in 2009.

Meanwhile, homes in the top 10 coldest ZIP codes sold for an average 85.6 percent of the asking price last quarter, up from 77.9 percent in 2009’s third quarter.

"The gap between homes selling most above and below asking price appears to be decreasing, an encouraging sign that prices may be stabilizing and both buyers and sellers could be adjusting to the new market reality," said John Oldham, ZipRealty’s director of marketing, in a statement.

As during the second quarter, California dominated the hottest markets in country in the third quarter, but to a lesser extent. Five out of the top 10 hottest ZIP codes were in the Golden State (compared to seven in the second quarter): two were in the southern part of Oakland; one in Berkeley; one in San Bernardino; and, for the first time, one was in San Francisco proper, in the Excelsior District.

Florida dominated the coldest markets in the third quarter, but also to a smaller degree than in the second quarter, taking up half of the top 10 markets, compared with seven in the second quarter.

North Carolina and Pennsylvania accounted for the rest. Homes in the coldest market in the third quarter, Central Durham, N.C., sold for 81 percent of the asking price while the coldest market in the second quarter, Winchester, Conn., sold for 72 percent of the asking price.

Five states accounted for the top 25 most-searched cities on ZipRealty’s website — most of them riddled with distressed properties: Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Georgia and Texas. For the eighth straight quarter, Phoenix remained the most popular city searched.

Phoenix and its suburbs accounted for eight of the top 25 most-searched cities, while the Las Vegas metro area took up 10, the report said.

The country’s 10 hottest ZIP codes (those with the highest sales-to-list-price ratios):

Neighborhood/City                ZIP Code % of List Price Average List Price   Average Sale Price
Greater Grand Crossing (Chicago), Ill.                      60619 108.7 $60,817 $61,167
Oakland, Calif.                                94603 106.0 $130,744 $136,051
The Loop (Chicago), Ill.                       60603 105.0 $954,842 $1,021,657
Excelsior (San Francisco), Calif.                     94112 104.8 $489,521 $503,563
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.                           33309 104.4 $83,789 $85,205
San Bernardino, Calif.                         92411 104.2 $81,399 $80,001
Oakland, Calif.                                94621 103.7 $117,150 $119,660
Covington, Wash.                               98042 103.6 $239,701 $244,798
Berkeley, Calif.                               94702 103.3 $450,746 $461,632
North Las Vegas, Nev.                          89030 103.2 $53,284 $54,090

The coldest ZIP codes (with the lowest sales-to-list-price ratios):

Neighborhood/City                ZIP Code % of List Price Average List Price   Average Sale Price
Lake Norman (Statesville), N.C. 28677 87.4 $121,829 $111,872
Singer Island, Fla. 33404 87.1 $565,770 $484,636
Upper North Philadelphia, Pa. 19140 86.9 $43,560 $38,316
Boca Raton, Fla.  33434 86.6 $173,878 $154,874
Springfield (Jacksonville), Fla. 32206 86.5 $68,817 $63,419
Chester, Pa. 19013 86.0 $42,490 $36,907
Naples, Fla. 34102 86.0 $2,274,246 $1,904,444
Palm Beach, Fla. 33480 84.3 $1,222,403 $1,010,399
Reading, Pa. 19602 84.0 $50,323 $41,577
Central Durham, N.C.  27703 80.9 $40,824 $34,434

Source: ZipRealty.

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