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Metro Phoenix and Florida Gain Popularity as Hottest Areas in U.S. for Home Buyers

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RISMEDIA, May 2, 2009-Phoenix and five nearby cities – Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Glendale – along with three cities in Florida – Naples, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale – and the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin, were the hottest cities in the U.S. for home buyers in Q1 of 2009, according to the number of home searches on the online real estate brokerage site, ZipRealty.

According to ZipRealty’s Q1 “Home Hunters Report,” distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) in five of the country’s most affected housing markets – Phoenix, Ft. Myers/Naples, Fla., Las Vegas, Southern California, and Sacramento, Calif., – are spending on average 20% fewer days on the market in Q1 2009 compared to Q1 2008.

“Banks have sped up the process for getting foreclosed homes on the market, and continue to lower prices to sell them,” said Leslie Tyler, vice president and chief home hunter for ZipRealty. “The drop in days on market versus last year highlights that distressed properties in these hard hit markets are starting to move, which is a hopeful sign.”

“In markets where prices have fallen the most, such as many California cities, Phoenix and Las Vegas, we continue to see strong buyer interest,” said Tyler. “The market is being driven right now by first time buyers and investors because of the affordability in these areas.”

Hottest Cities by Search Activity
Areas where prices have been hardest hit continue to dominate as the most popular destinations for home seekers. The Phoenix metro claimed six of the top 10 most searched cities nationwide, capturing two additional spots since the Q4 2008 report while pushing out Houston and Atlanta. Two additional Florida cities joined Orlando in the top 10 this quarter, while Las Vegas held its position from the previous report.

All of the top 25 most searched U.S. cities were in Sunbelt states, including five in California, eight in Arizona, one in Texas, four in Las Vegas, six in Florida and one in Georgia.

Hottest/Coldest Zip Codes by Sale-to-List Price Trends
The “Home Hunters Report” also shows that homes sold in the Inland Empire community of Hesperia Calif. (92344), are fetching the highest sales-to-list price ratio for sold homes during the same time period at 116%.

In addition to Hesperia, zip codes fetching the highest accepted offers above asking price include Daly City, Calif., (94015), Purcellville, Va., (20132), Chicago, Ill., near the South Side (60616), and Dallas, Tex., (75211). On the other end of the spectrum, neighborhoods with the lowest sales-to-list price ratios include Fort Lauderdale, Fla., (33304), where homes are going for more than 30% below asking price on average, and Dinuba, Calif., (93618), Granbury, Tex., (76048) and Harvey, Ill., (60426).

The highest and lowest sales-to-list price ratios in several ZipRealty markets include the following:

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For more information, visit www.ziprealty.com.

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