SOURCE: ZipRealty

ZipRealty

January 25, 2010 08:31 ET

Some Housing Markets Hot Again, According to ZipRealty Q4 2009 "Home Hunter Report"

Phoenix Is Most Coveted City by Online Home Hunters in 2009

EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwire - January 25, 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 (NASDAQ: ZIPR) quarterly Home Hunter Report.

These are just some of the highlights revealed by ZipRealty's report released today, which identifies where home sellers are fetching the highest offers compared to their asking prices according to MLS data from the 33 markets the brokerage serves. Highlights from the ZipRealty Q4 2009 Home Hunter Report, which also identifies which cities the brokerage serves 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 (see "Phoenix Dominates" section
    below for further details).
--  Homes in Berkeley's 94703 sold for an average of 107.86 percent 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 sold
    for an average of 107.30 percent 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 percent of list price.
--  Texas claimed three of the country's "hottest" markets in Q4 for the
    first time. Homes in Fort Worth's 76135 sold for an average of 134.65
    percent of asking price in Q4, while homes in the upscale Dallas bedroom
    community of Rowlett (75089) commanded on average 110.81 percent 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."

Hottest/Coldest ZIP Codes by Sale-to-List Price Trends

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



         Market                Hottest                     Coldest
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
         Boston                Brockton                    Back Bay
                               (02301)                     (02116)
                               103.95%                     (87.26%)
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
     San Francisco             Berkeley                  Healdsburg
        Bay Area               (94703)                     (95448)
                               107.86%                      90.57%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
        Chicago            Near South Side                 Glencoe
                               (60616)                     (60022)
                               101.83%                      84.37%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
       Las Vegas         Downtown Las Vegas          Summerlin, Las Vegas
                               (89169)                     (89144)
                               104.94%                      94.41%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
         Miami                 Margate                  Delray Beach
                               (33068)                     (33483)
                                99.90%                      83.22%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
     New York Metro      Mastic - Long Island                Rye
                               (11950)                     (10580)
                                97.71%                      88.17%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
        Phoenix            San Tan Valley                  Tonopah
                               (85143)                     (85354)
                               103.07%                      87.05%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
        Seattle               Puyallup                  Port Townsend
                               (98375)                     (98368)
                               100.60%                      88.09%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================
        Southern        Tarzana - Los Angeles    Holmby Hills - Los Angeles
       California              (91356)                     (90077)
                               107.30%                      87.45%
     ==============  ==========================  ==========================


Hot and cold ZIP codes for all 33 markets that ZipRealty tracks in this report are available here: http://www.ziprealty.com/whitepaper/homehunterreport/fourthquarter2009.pdf.

Phoenix Dominates Nation's Most Popular Cities for Home Hunters in 2009

Also 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 information about the most highly searched cities for home hunters in Q4 2009, please see the full report: http://www.ziprealty.com/whitepaper/homehunterreport/fourthquarter2009.pdf.

About the Report http://www.ziprealty.com/whitepaper/homehunterreport/fourthquarter2009.pdf

Each quarter, ZipRealty compiles real estate listing and sales data from the Multiple Listing Services offered in 33 of the 36 major U.S. metropolitan areas in which the real estate brokerage operates. The data pulled and cited within this report is for the fourth quarter of 2009, beginning October 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009.

This report is intended to convey information on the general market conditions where ZipRealty operates, not on ZipRealty's operating results. ZipRealty's operating results may be materially different from the general trends shown in this report. Please do not draw any conclusions about ZipRealty's operating results based on the information contained in this report but instead refer to ZipRealty's earnings releases and periodic reports as they are made public.

About ZipRealty, Inc.

ZipRealty is a full-service residential real estate brokerage firm. The Company utilizes its user-friendly Web site and employee real estate agents to provide home buyers and sellers with high-quality service and value. ZipRealty's Web site provides users with access to comprehensive local Multiple Listing Services' home listings data, as well as other relevant market and neighborhood information. The Company's proprietary business management system and technology platform help to reduce costs, allowing the Company to pass on significant savings to consumers. Founded in 1999, the company operates in 36 major markets in 22 states and the District of Columbia. For more information on ZipRealty, visit www.ziprealty.com or call 1-800-CALL-ZIP.

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