The online real estate agency ZipRealty.com has just come out with its list of the hottest and coldest real estate markets, based on whether homes are selling for above or below the asking prices.
For the most part the “hottest” markets aren’t the posh zip codes of Beverly Hills or Greenwich. Most are markets where banks are dumping foreclosed homes and bidding wars have sprouted up.
Topping the list of hottest markets is the Phoenix suburb Youngtown, where homes sold at an average of 111% of list price in the second quarter. The picture is of a four bedroom, 2,200 square foot bank-owned McMansion in Youngtown. It’s got a formal living and dining room, a powder room, a large master bed and bath downstairs, a “desired location close to schools, local freeways and professional football stadium.” It’s listed for $107,000. You can get everything a young family needs in Youngtown, except trees apparently.
Following it on the list of hottest markets: San Pedro, Calif (sale price as a percentage of asking price: 109%), New Haven, Conn. (107%), Oakland (105%) and Encanto, Calif. (103%), a San Diego suburb. Not the fanciest post marks.
And where are home sales coldest according to Zip? Again, not where you would expect. Atlanta (sales are at 81% of list price), Naples (81%), St. Petersburg (81%), Weston, Fla. (80%) and Eloy, Az. (80%). Number six on the cold list is a fairly posh place, Boca Raton (80%).
“As housing inventory shrinks dramatically across many California markets, we’re actually seeing bidding wars again in some places,” said Leslie Tyler, vice president and chief home hunter for ZipRealty. “In markets like Southern Florida that still show relatively high inventory levels, banks and sellers are accepting offers well below asking price to move homes off their books.”
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.