Good news for buyers: The days of frenzied bidding wars, insanely high offers over asking, and buying a home sight unseen may be coming to an end in certain parts of the country. And as the real estate slowdown continues, things are shifting, and seller's markets are turning into buyer's markets.
The top housing market for buyers in the United States is Albany, NY, according to a recent realtor.com® analysis. The capital of New York state, about 150 miles north of New York City, has that magic combination of low sales price growth, more homes going up for sale, and properties that are taking their time to sell—giving buyers a bit of a breather.
Prices were already low in the Albany metropolitan area, which includes the city and surrounding suburbs. The median list price was roughly $295,000 as of April 1. That's 5.1% below the national median of $310,000.
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"It's a very middle-class, homey city. There's a lot of museums and culture and restaurants, and an airport with a lot of direct flights, and the area is definitely on the upswing," says Anthony Gucciardo of Gucciardo Real Estate, a local real estate broker. "We have a lot of state government and colleges, so there [are] employment opportunities."
Folks can still snag a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom fixer-upper for about $200,000, Gucciardo says. Properties that are move-in ready, for example an updated ranch, tend to start in the $300,000 range.
What are the best buyer's markets?
Price growth in these markets rose only an average 1.4% year over year, as compared with 8.4% the previous year. That's a boon to cash-strapped buyers.
The surge in sellers putting properties on the market has given buyers a leg up. Increasingly, sellers are now jockeying for qualified buyers instead of the other way around. That gives buyers more negotiating power and keeps prices from shooting up.
"These 10 housing markets are already more buyer-friendly when looking at the availability of homes for sale in different markets," Danielle Hale, realtor.com's chief economist, said in a statement. "As inventory continues to grow in these markets, buyers will see more options, and should ultimately gain more bargaining power.”