Zillow: Hottest Real Estate Markets for Buyers, Sellers

The hottest real estate markets for buying and selling aren’t just in California anymore. 

Zillow’s latest analysis of the top housing markets reveals that while the Bay Area is still home to the country’s most competitive markets, other cities have joined the ranks.

Denver, Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth join San Jose and San Francisco to round out the top-five markets for sellers. There, homes are “flying off the market at or above asking prices, giving sellers the upper hand,” the online real estate database company says in a statement. 


A sellers’ market, according to Zillow’s analysis, is not necessarily one where home values are rising, but one where homes sell quickly at prices very close to — or greater than — their listing price.

In those markets, homes sell an average of 48 days faster than those for sale in buyers’ markets — the hottest of which include Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Providence. 

In buyers’ markets, homes are on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently and sell for less than their asking price. Home shoppers in those markets can expect an average 3.9% discount off the final sale price, compared to the meager discount of less than 1% in sellers’ markets. 

But what’s true in one market may not be true in others, and buyers and sellers will face different challenges and opportunities depending on local conditions, said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries, in a statement.

“Sellers in buyers’ markets should remain patient and take even small steps to make their home more attractive to buyers and help it stand out,” Humphries said. “Buyers in sellers’ markets should never feel pressured to pay more than they’re comfortable with and capable of.”

Nationally, home prices are leveling off, giving hope to homebuyers who have fought low inventory and rising home values. And while the real estate market still favors sellers, conditions are beginning to shift, giving buyers more of an edge. 

“In general, while the market remains more in sellers’ favor, it is slowly tilting toward buyers this year, thanks to more inventory, slower home value gains and less competition from investors,” Humphries said. 

Written by Emily Study

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  • Zillow fails to disclose some of the huge differences between the top five cities. First the Dallas-Fort Worth area is referred to as the Metroplex because it is a collection of a number of cities including Irving, TX.

    San Francisco is the fourteenth largest city in the US and the value of the average home is over $1 million while San Jose is the tenth largest US city and the average home value is knocking at the $1 million doorstep.

    Seattle and Denver are the 21st and 22nd largest US cities respectively. If one excludes Dallas-Fort Worth, the population of the remaining top four cities is still significantly smaller than LA and much smaller than NYC.

    It seems only two significant areas stand out: the Bay Area and the Metroplex. As was sadly found out with the Extreme Summit, Denver and Seattle are significant population centers to their states but they are hardly trend setters outside of their states.

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