US property “selling within days” in some areas


The US property recovery continues to gather momentum, according to latest figures, with some states turning into sellers' markets thanks to strong demand. Indeed, in some areas, homes are selling "within days", says Zillow, with homeowners in strong bargaining positions as local and overseas investors flock to the US.

The Bay Area, Las Vegas and Phoenix are some of the country's strongest sellers' markets, according to Zillow's report. The sellers' market is not necessarily one where home prices have risen, but one where houses sell quickly, price cuts are less common, with asking prices regularly fetched.

Other market conditions remain perfect for buyers, with homes left on the market for longer, prompting frequent price cuts amid buyer negotiations. Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic metros, such as Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia, are the best buyer markets, with discounts exceeding 5 per cent and some properties waiting to be sold for over 100 days

But places that were hardest hit by the housing crash, such as California, have reached the other extreme, with foreclosures attracting high numbers of investors and pushing homes to be snapped up in a matter of daus.

"As most housing markets continue to improve nationwide, the relative position of buyers and sellers continues to vary considerably by geography," comments Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

"In some markets, buyers are finding themselves in strong bargaining positions relative to sellers, confidently offering less than the asking price on a home they had months to consider. In other areas, it's sellers that are squarely in the driver's seat with their homes selling within days of listing, often after bidding wars that increase the sale price above the asking price," he adds.

"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 counter intuitive. But much of that strength is driven by investor interest, as many distressed and non-distressed homes are purchased and transformed into rentals. This investor activity is contributing to very low inventory levels, which increases demand and helps drive up prices, particularly for less expensive homes in these markets."