Best Real Estate Markets in the U.S? Nine of Ten Zips are in California

Dennis Norman

Multiple Offers and Homes Selling for prices ABOVE list price? Is this a reprint of a post from 2005?

Nope. Believe it or not, this is exactly what was in a report released this morning by Zip Realty. The report is based upon home sales activity in the second quarter of this year and says that, despite slowdowns in home sales across the country, California is still the nation’s hottest spot for home buying activity.

California was home to 91 out of the country’s 100 “hottest” zip codes in terms of home sales during the quarter. Zip Realty’s definition of a “hot” market is one in where “homes were selling on average for most above list price“. So being the cynic that I can sometimes be, and, seeing how economists and reporters are constantly “playing with” stats to make them illustrate their point (I would never do this of course:) ) I guess from this report one could instead say that more California home owners under-price their homes more than anywhere else in the U.S. But let’s just stick with the “glass is half-full” approach and say the California market is hot.

Highlights from the report:

  • Berkeley, CA 94703 is the country’s “hottest” zip code with homes selling on average for almost 8 percent above the asking price.
  • Winchester, CT 06098 was the nations “coldest” zip code, with homes selling there on average 30 percent under list price.
  • ZIP codes in California, and specifically the Bay Area, remain the “hottest” for buyer demand, including ZIP codes in Berkeley, Oakland and San Jose. See the chart below for the full list of the country’s ten hottest ZIP codes.
  • The country’s “coldest markets” have warmed slightly since Q2 of 2009 — with homes in the country’s 10 coldest ZIP codes selling for an average of 18 percent below asking price in Q2 of this year, as compared to an average of 22 percent below asking price in Q2 2009.
  • High-end housing markets nationwide continue to offer relative bargains for buyers. For example, in Miami’s Palm Beach (33480), buyers paid an average of around $1.1 million for a home in Q2, an average of $232,492 below list price. In Cape Cod’s Osterville (02655), homes sold on average for 16 percent below asking price, or an average of $180,437 under asking.
  • According to the total number of home searches on Zip Realty, Phoenix and its surrounding neighborhoods continue to be the most popular searched areas in the country.

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