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.

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:

  • 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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