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RISMEDIA, January 29, 2010—While some of the “hottest” real estate markets in the country- those where homes are selling most above their list prices- continue to be distressed areas dominated by heavily discounted prices, Q4 2009 revealed some notable exceptions. In two higher priced zip codes in California’s Berkeley and the Los Angeles suburb of Tarzana, and three zip codes in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area not dominated by distressed listings, homes sold on average well above asking price in Q4, according to ZipRealty’s quarterly Home Hunter Report.

These are just some of the highlights revealed by ZipRealty’s recently released report which identifies where home sellers are fetching the highest offers compared to their asking prices among 33 markets the brokerage serves.

Highlights from the ZipRealty Q4 2009 Home Hunter Report, which also identifies which cities nationwide are most highly searched online, include:

-Phoenix was 2009’s most popular city in the country for online home hunters, according to the volume of the total number of home searches on www.ZipRealty.com throughout the year.

-Homes in Berkeley’s 94703 zip code sold for an average of 107.86% of list price in Q4. The average home sale price for the zip code was $538,626 for the same period. Homes in the Tarzana district of Los Angeles’ 91356 zip code sold for an average of 107.30% of list price in Q4, with an average sale price of $653,722 for the same period. In Q3 2009, homes in the Tarzana zip code had commanded only 93.55% of list price.

-Texas claimed three of the country’s “hottest” markets in Q4 for the first time. Homes in Fort Worth’s 76135 zip code sold for an average of 134.65% of asking price in Q4, while homes in the upscale Dallas bedroom community of Rowlett (75089) commanded on average 110.81% of asking price. Zip code 76001 in Arlington, Fort Worth’s largest suburb, also entered the top ten list this quarter.

-All of the five remaining cities on the Top 10 “Hottest Markets” list are also located in California, including: Sacramento (95832); San Lorenzo (94580); Oakland (94621); Palmdale (93591); and San Bernardino (92405).

On the cold end of the spectrum, Florida zip codes continue to dominate those areas selling at a discount, where sellers are accepting on average 70 to 85 cents on the dollar. Florida zip codes selling most below asking price based on sales-to-list price ratio include: Deland (32720); Orlando (32827); Largo (33773); Delray Beach (33483); Naples (34102); Miami’s Coral Gables (33134); and Boca Raton (33496). Zip codes 75203 in Dallas, 19132 in Philadelphia and 60022 in Glencoe, Ill., join the Florida zip codes as the country’s coldest.

“For more than a year now we’ve been seeing distressed areas with heavily discounted properties dominate the ‘hot’ markets where homes fetch more than the asking price, and it’s a great sign that we’re now starting to see higher-priced areas going over asking price, too,” said Leslie Tyler, vice president and chief home hunter for ZipRealty. “These hot micro-markets across California and Dallas-Fort Worth point to the continued stabilization happening in different areas nationwide.”

Phoenix Dominates Nation’s Most Popular Cities for Home Hunters in 2009
According to ZipRealty, the Phoenix area was by far the most popular for homebuyers in all of 2009, according to the volume of the total number of home searches on www.ZipRealty.com throughout the year. Areas where home prices have dropped significantly since 2007, including Phoenix, Southern Florida and Las Vegas, generated the most home hunter interest throughout the year. The most popular cities for home searches in all of 2009 were:

1. Phoenix
2. Scottsdale (Phoenix metro)
3. Orlando
4. Summerlin (Las Vegas community)
5. Chandler (Phoenix metro)
6. Mesa (Phoenix metro)
7. Gilbert (Phoenix metro)
8. Henderson – Green Valley (Las Vegas metro)
9. Atlanta
10. Kissimmee (Orlando metro)

“We’ve seen incredible buyer interest throughout 2009 in homes perceived as bargains in the Phoenix area from across the country, and even from ‘snow-birds’ looking for winter retreats from Canada,” Tyler explained. “Meanwhile, buyers and sellers in Southern Florida still seem to be waiting for the bottom of the market.”

For more information, visit www.ziprealty.com.

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