Latest housing market research reveals most buyer friendly metros in the US

San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Denver have seen home values grow more slowly than the nation over the past year, but they are the four hottest property markets compared to the rest of the United States, new research shows.

This is largely because, despite some of the highest prices in the country, buyers face more competition for a more limited inventory. But the winds are rapidly shifting and they are expected to cool further this year, according to the latest analysis from real estate firm Zillow.

The figures also show that among the 35 largest metro areas those in Miami are set to be more attractive to buyers with Miami the second coolest nationwide, Tampa seventh and Orlando in eighth place.

However, movement in these markets is positive. The research points out that all three have recorded year on year home value growth either the same as the country as a whole or higher and all three are seeing steady demand and good supply.

The report says that the New York metro area, not thought of as an affordable or cold real estate market, is currently the most buyer friendly and adds that people who can afford to buy in the New York metro face relatively little competition that incites bidding wars, and properties sit longer on the market.

It explains, that while it is pricey New York City, is actually among the most buyer friendly within the metro area, while New Jersey cities such as Montclair, Bloomfield and New Brunswick far more heavily favour sellers.

‘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,’ said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.

‘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,’ he added.

He pointed out that overall, the housing market still favours sellers but is slowing, trending toward historical norms. Inventory is the highest it’s been in a year, and the number of homes that sold for more than their list price decreased from 21% in November to 19% in December 2018, the largest month on month drop in seasonally adjusted data since at least 2012.

Indeed, according to a recent Zillow analysis, the share has been declining steadily since its peak of 24% of homes sold above list price in May 2018.