If you're considering buying a home, you might want to know whether we're in a buyers or sellers market.
The answer depends very much on where you are. Just as the real-estate bust played out differently in different cities, so does the recovery. If you’re in Chicago, you’re in a buyers market. If you’re in Las Vegas, you’re in a sellers market, according to the latest research by Zillow.
To reach its conclusions, Zillow compared asking prices, sale prices, the number of days homes were on the market and the percentage of homes with price cuts in the 30 largest U.S. metro areas.
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Whether you're in a buyers or sellers market doesn’t reflect whether prices or rising or falling, but it can affect your negotiating power.
Number of improving markets hits new high
"Many of the strongest sellers markets are in areas that were hardest hit by the housing bust, places like California, Nevada and Arizona, which may seem counterintuitive," Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said at the Zillow blog. "But much of that strength is likely driven by investor interest, as many distressed and nondistressed homes are purchased in bulk and transformed into rentals. This investor activity is contributing to very low inventory levels, which increases demand and helps drive up prices for all homes in these markets."
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A shortage of inventory in many cities — including Las Vegas and Phoenix, where investors have scooped up many bargain-priced homes — is also making those communities sellers markets.
Home prices continue rising
The top buyers markets, according to Zillow’s analysis:
The top sellers markets:
San Jose, Calif.
Even if you live in an area that is dubbed a buyers market, you may not have as much leverage as you think. Each metro area is made up of micromarkets, and popular neighborhoods may still be sellers markets, with few homes for sale and great demand.