America’s top 10 buyer’s markets—where you can still land a bargain below the asking price – New York Post

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Buyers face a tough housing market these days: With listing prices hovering at $430,000 and mortgage interest rates near 7%, the cards seem to be stacked against them.

But not all markets are equally daunting. In fact, some are bona fide buyer’s markets where cash-strapped home shoppers can snag a bargain.

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So where are these hidden paradises where buyers have a leg up? To help, crunched the numbers to find the best buyer’s markets across the country right now.

What defines a buyer’s market?

To pinpoint buyer’s markets, economists searched for metros with a low sale-to-listing price ratio. This means the areas had homes selling for the lowest price relative to their initial listing price.

“Buyer’s markets are a product of high inventory levels and often slowing time on market,” explains economist Hannah Jones. “When buyers have more options, homes sit on the market longer, and sellers are more likely to compromise to move a home sale along.”

Jones notes that the top 10 buyer’s markets saw homes sell for an average of 9% less than the initial listing price.

“By comparison, nationally, homes were selling for about 3% less than the initial asking price,” she says.

There are still bona fide buyer's markets in America, according to a study.
There are still bona fide buyer’s markets in America, according to a study. Shutterstock

Buyer’s markets can be found across the US, even in surprisingly desirable locales such as the Sun Belt, where warm weather is the norm.

But just because it’s a buyer’s market doesn’t mean prices are lower.

It just means that sellers will be more eager to meet buyers halfway—by either lowering their asking price or offering concessions such as a mortgage rate buy-down to sweeten the deal.

Curious where the real estate pickings are plentiful? Check out the top 10 buyer’s markets, along with what buyers will typically pay for a house in the area, the number of listings, days on the market, and interesting details about living there.

Median list price: $299,500
Median days on the market: 58
Number of listings: 251

Located less than an hour from both St. Augustine and Gainesville, Palatka delivers a taste of old Florida along the St. Johns River. Residents say they can enjoy a relaxed pace of life, and those who like fishing and boating will be in heaven.

While it tops the list of best buyer’s markets in the country, that might soon change.

“The prices and traffic have certainly experienced a significant increase over the last several years,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, licensed in California and Florida.

“You can find some more affordable waterfront property in this area that is well under $1 million, as well as homes in price points such as the low $200,000 to $300,000 range,” adds Ameer.

Median list price: $1,300,000
Median days on the market: 80
Number of listings: 1,306

Key West might be as close to island living as you can get in the US, and it has long been a vacation destination because of its tropical vibe.

Located several hours south of Miami, the town has gorgeous beaches, swaying palm trees, and classic architecture in pastel hues. For snorkelers and scuba divers, it’s paradise.

Yes, it’s a buyer’s market, but the housing isn’t cheap.

“The lowest-priced homes currently start just below $800,000, and these are compact—around 1,000 square feet,” says Ameer. “But it’s all about location, location, location.”

The houses in the top 10 buyer's markets sell for an average of 9% less than the initial listing price.
The houses in the top 10 buyer’s markets sell for an average of 9% less than the initial listing price. Shutterstock

Median list price: $1,125,000
Median days on the market: 54
Number of listings: 427

Breckenridge is where snowshoers, ice skaters, snowmobilers, and other outdoorsy types thrive. It’s also notable for its walkable, charming downtown area and stunning storybook setting with mountain views.

Having Breckenridge as a home base won’t come cheap, though: The average home list price rings in at about $1.8 million, but it’s possible to find a sweet cabin for less than $500,000.

In this buyer’s market, homes typically sell for more than the 3% benchmark under the asking price.

Median list price: $699,900
Median days on the market: 58
Number of listings: 1,388

Buyers eager to snag a good deal and a great lifestyle in the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains might want to call Sevierville home.

Sevierville sits on the banks of the French Broad River and offers an array of properties from compact condos for $150,000 to sprawling homesteads in the millions of dollars.

Residents give high marks to the natural beauty, the downtown restaurant scene, and the nearby attractions like Dollywood, a NASCAR track, and the RainForest Adventure Zoo.

Median list price: $299,900
Median days on the market: 47
Number of listings: 404

“Jackson is a community as close to Mayberry as you can get,” says Ronnie Ragan, a real estate agent with the Ragan Realty Group in Jackson. It offers the quintessential warmth and friendliness of the town depicted on the 1960s TV show “Mayberry R.F.D.”

Jackson is about an hour and a half from both Nashville and Memphis, TN, and several hours from Atlanta and Paducah, KY. So it’s fairly easy to get on a flight to almost anywhere.

The school options are plentiful: public, private, and dynamic homeschooling.

Properties are available at a range of prices: A starter home here goes for $200,000 to $225,000, while the higher-end homes can top $1 million.

Median list price: $292,575
Median days on the market: 42
Number of listings: 236

Tucked away an hour and a half northwest of Atlanta, Rome is a town of 36,000 known as the “Capital of Nice.”

Rivers and rolling hills make this a gorgeous spot to call home, and homes are currently in good supply. Starter homes—whether a classic brick four-bedroom or a sleek contemporary—can be found for $250,000 and up.

Plus, the city has been surging as a medical hub, with a top-notch job market for that sector.

Median list price: $450,000
Median days on the market: 41
Number of listings: 267

Southeast of Sacramento, Sonora is known as “Queen of the Southern Mines” in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Nature lovers might discover it’s a hot spot for well-priced homes within striking distance of Yosemite National Park and several other noteworthy outdoor recreation destinations.

“As people in California look for more affordable and less crowded places to live, this one checks a lot of the boxes,” says Ameer. “You can find homes in the mid-$200,000 to upper-$400,000 range, and more ‘affordable luxury homes’ for $600,000 to $1 million.”

Median list price: $349,900
Median days on the market: 49
Number of listings: 130

Tennessee makes the list of the top buyer’s markets again, this time with Greenville, located in the hills in the northeast.

Here, you can likely purchase a home for a chunk of change below the asking price and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with the 15,000 or so other residents.

The town offers loads of history (President Andrew Johnson made his home there), the Niswonger Performing Arts Center for a dose of culture, and plentiful spots for hiking and fishing.

Median list price: $402,000
Median days on the market: 54
Number of listings: 261

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest: Roseburg is a town of some 23,000 where buyers can likely purchase a property for a nice discount off the asking price.

Home prices start in the $250,000 range, and the market offers everything from sweet Victorians to sprawling modern homes in leafy neighborhoods.

Roseburg boasts mild weather, limitless opportunities to explore the verdant landscape, plus wineries to check out during off-hours. It’s just a little over an hour from Eugene and three hours south of Portland.

Median list price: $449,948
Median days on the market: 74
Number of listings: 2,480

Panama City is adjacent to Panama City Beach, making it an ideal location for those who want to live where they can get their toes in the sand easily and often.

“This area has largely been overlooked as the surrounding areas have been booming, from sleepy seaside towns along the Gulf of Mexico to luxury destinations,” says Ameer. “As people look for more affordable areas of Florida, Panama City has homes in the upper $200,000 to $400,000 range. That same square footage may be $300,000 to $400,000 more going east to the Jacksonville area, for example.”

It’s possible to find good value here, and this diverse town with bustling tourism might be a good fit for buyers who work in hospitality or want to.

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