Our analysis shows many home sellers are thriving in the Bay Area, San Antonio and Los Angeles metro areas, where price cuts are sparse and homes often sell at or near their asking price. On the other end of the spectrum, the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Tampa metros are buyer's markets, with homes taking longer to sell, less competition in the marketplace and more room for bargaining on prices.
In this analysis, a seller's market is not necessarily one where home values are rising, but rather one in which homes are on the market for a shorter time, price cuts occur less frequently and homes are sold at prices very close to (or greater than) their last listing price. In buyer's markets, homes for sale stay on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently and homes are sold for less relative to their listing price.
"The real estate data in markets on both coasts are telling markedly different stories. Relatively strong job markets in the West are helping spur robust demand, which is being met with limited supply, causing rapid home value appreciation and giving sellers an edge. In the East, housing markets are appreciating a bit more slowly, and homes are staying on the market longer, which helps give buyers the upper hand," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.
He added, "In general, buyers in sellers' markets this spring can expect tight inventory, increased competition and a greater sense of urgency. Sellers in buyers' markets may need to be prepared to lower their asking price, or to wait longer for the perfect buyer to come along. As we put the housing recession further in the rear-view mirror, the broad-based dynamics that applied during those days, when all markets were reacting similarly to nationwide economic conditions, are fading. Real estate has always been local, and as the spring market gains momentum, this old adage will only become more pronounced."
To read more, see Zillow's Buyer Seller Index. To dive into our recently released February Real Estate Market Reports, visit Zillow Research.
More from Zillow about the housing market:
Tips for Buyers in a Seller's Market
Sellers in Strong Buyer's Markets Find Ways to Stand Out
Top 5 Mistakes Homebuyers Make -- And How to Avoid Them
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