Prospective homebuyers are gearing up for the home shopping season, but where should they go to find the most favorable conditions among the hottest metros? A new analysis from Zillow  determined how hot a region's housing market is compared to others by analyzing sale-to-list-price ratios, the percentage of listings with a price cut, and how long homes stay on the market.
Among the nation's 35 largest metro areas, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando combine to show that buyers in Florida will have an easier time shopping for a home than buyers in most other markets. All three have seen year-over-year home-value growth the same or higher than the nation as a whole. Here are the top ten in order: New York, New York; Miami, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Ilinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Tampa, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Houston, Texas and Riverside, CA.
On the opposite end of the scale, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Denver have seen home values grow slower than the nation over the past year, but remain the four hottest markets. Despite having some of the highest prices in the country, buyers face more competition for an even more limited inventory. Surprisingly, the New York metro area is the most buyer-friendly market right now. People who can afford to buy in the New York metro have relatively little competition, and properties tend to sit longer on the market.
Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow said "Blanket seller's markets are history, while inventory remains tight, it is starting to climb. The housing market has cooled and in a growing number of markets, buyers are gaining more and more leverage – especially those well-heeled buyers willing to pay top dollar in pricey communities. However, the crunch is still on in more affordable areas so the bulk of buyers continue to see some competition, though somewhat less than a few months ago."
Overall, the housing market still favors sellers but is slowing—trending toward historical norms. According to another Zillow analysis, inventory is the highest it has been in a year, and the number of homes that sold for over list price decreased from 21 percent in November to 19 percent in December–the largest month-over-month drop in seasonally adjusted data since at least 2012. The share has been declining steadily since its peak of 24 percent of homes sold above list price in May 2018.
Read the full report here.