A Comparison of Real Estate Buyers Markets and Sellers Markets

A Comparison of Real Estate Buyers Markets and Sellers Markets

The top 10 home buyer markets showed an average sales price of $229,790 while the median sales price for a house in the top 10 overheated markets was $743,500.

Real estate brokerage Owners.com released its 2018 Market Recap data study revealing the top 10 buyer metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and overheated MSAs. Virginia Beach, Va., Hartford, Conn., and Philadelphia, came out on top for buyers seeking homes that sold below the listing price and where there was more available inventory. Owners.com also revealed what it considers to be the most overheated markets in the U.S.

The data showed nearly all of the overheated markets were in California, with San Jose, San Francisco and Santa Cruz as the top three. On average, residents in the top 10 overheated markets are spending nearly half of their income on their mortgage and on average, homes sold in these markets for twice as much as they did nationally.

“Affordability remains a challenge in many markets across the country, but there are still areas where buyers can find affordable options,” said Dario Cardile, vice president, growth at Owners.com. “Smart buyers should look to work with a brokerage that offers the support of experienced agents together with personalized tech-based tools that can help them find the right home, at the right price for their budget.”

Top 10 Home Buyer Markets

To identify the buyer markets, Owners.com analyzed a variety of factors including the percentage of listed properties sold, difference between the listing and sale price, average number of days on market, and average listed inventory count. The study uncovered that within the top 10 buyer markets, home buyers could generally expect to find more affordable housing options with less competition. More specifically:

  • The top 10 buyer markets showed an average sales price of $229,790 which was $4,500 below the national average. Homes also sold for an average of $9,613 below the listing price,
  • Within the top 10 buyer markets, the 2018 median home sales price increased 3 percent year-over-year ($229,790 in 2018 versus $223,000 in 2017), compared to an increase of 6.2 percent nationally ($234,300 in 2018 versus $220,500 in 2017). This suggests that on average, prices appreciated slower than the national average and may offer more affordable homes,
  • Prices for renters remained affordable in the top 10 buyer markets. The average monthly rent increased by only $26 year-over-year, which was $14 less than the national average,
  • Homes in the top 10 buyer markets took an average 6.5 weeks longer to sell than the national average, which suggests that there was less buyer competition, and
  • In the top 10 buyer markets on average, 37 percent of listed properties sold within a month, which suggests that buyers had a lot of inventory to choose from.
  MSA Median Sales Prices for Single-Family Homes  Average Difference Between Sale and Listing Price (Percent Difference)  Average Number of Days Listing is on Market Percentage of Properties with Negative Equity Average Listed Inventory  Average Change in Rent (from Previous Year)  Percentage of Listed Properties Sold
National $234,300 -$11,650
(-8%)
60 9.9% N/A +$40 34%
1 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $245,000 -$8,376
(-3%)
111 12.8% 13,482 +$7 23%
2 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT $235,000 -$7,892
(-3%)
110 10.6% 4,329 +$15 25%
3 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $240,000 -$9,148
(-4%)
113 11% 30,660 +$9 42%
4 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $250,000 -$9,923
(-4%)
104 6.2% 16,125 +$33 37%
5 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $215,000 -$9,905
(-5%)
95 6.4% 21,399 +$40 38%
6 Cleveland-Elyria, OH $148,500 -$7,790
(-5%)
97 12.1% 6,496 +$13 42%
7 Jacksonville, FL $220,000 -$9,873
(-4%)
103 9.3% 6191 +$24 43%
8 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $339,900 -$16,204
(-5%)
114 4.8% 27,512 +$67 29%
9 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $247,500 -$9,885
(-4%)
105 9.7% 26,123 +$28 46%
10 Pittsburgh, PA $157,000 -$7,137
(-5%)
105 5.4% 6,387 +$28 40%

Top 10 Overheated Markets

Owners.com also identified what it considers the most overheated markets in the U.S., where residents are spending more than 33 percent of their household income toward their mortgage payment. To uncover the most overheated markets, analysts looked at all MSAs across the U.S. The data showed that:

  • The average median sales price in the top 10 overheated markets was $743,500, more than twice as much as the average U.S. home price, and
  • On average, residents in these 10 markets spent 44 percent of their income toward their mortgage, which was nearly double the national average.
  MSA Average Median Sales Price for Single-Family Homes  Average Difference between Sale and Listing Price  Average Number of Days Listing Is on Market Percentage of Household Income Used toward Mortgage Payment 
National $234,300 -$11,650 60 24.7%
1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $1,290,000 +$10,745 51 55.9%
2 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $940,000 +$12,065 55 47.1%
3 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $826,000 -$5,040 70 52.8%
4 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $680,000 -$5,886 83 49.5%
5 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $620,000 -$7,602 74 41.5%
6 Santa Rosa, CA $625,000 -$5,719 87 39.6%
7 Boulder, CO $560,000 -$9,725 81 35.3%
8 Napa, CA $659,000 -$7,407 91 38.8%
9 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA $656,000 -$11,258 86 40.3%
10 Salinas, CA $579,000 -$11,923 91 41.4%

Methodology

For the buyer’s markets, Owners.com identified and analyzed MSAs with over one million people and for the overheated markets, Owners.com analyzed all MSAs. Data was retrieved from October 31, 2017 through October 31, 2018. To identify and rank the top 10 markets for buyers, Owners.com weighted seven different metrics and summed them into a score.

To identify and rank the top 10 overheated markets, Owners.com weighted three metrics and summed them into a score. The data was sourced from public property data, aggregated public record data and Census Data. The metrics and their weights in the total score were as follows:

The score for the top 10 home buyer markets was comprised of these metrics:

  • Percentage of properties with negative equity: 30 percent
  • Percent of listed properties sold: 25 percent
  • Average price difference between sold and listing prices: 10 percent
  • Average percentage difference between sold and listing prices: 10 percent
  • Average active listings: 10 percent
  • Days on market: 10 percent
  • Monthly rental cost change from previous year: 5 percent

The score for the top 10 overheated markets was comprised of these metrics:

  • Percentage of household income used toward mortgage payment: 50 percent
  • Days on market: 30 percent
  • Average price difference between sold and listing prices: 20 percent
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After earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida, Tracey set out in the real world at Florida Realtors in 1994 as a communication assistant, working her way up to editor in chief of Florida Realtor magazine. In 2004, she left the association to start her freelance writing and editing business. One of her first clients was REAL Trends, and she started working for the organization in 2005. In 2014, Tracey was promoted to editor in chief of publications for REAL Trends. She handles the writing and editing of all REAL Trends publications and marketing materials, including LORE Magazine, the REAL Trends newsletter and the blog. She is also the primary podcast interviewer where she conducts interviews with top real estate industry leaders and affiliated industry leaders. Tracey is married with two children.

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