SOURCE: ZipRealty

ZipRealty

April 23, 2009 08:00 ET

Metro Phoenix and Florida Gain Popularity as Hottest Areas in U.S. for Home Buyers, According to ZipRealty Q1 2009 "Home Hunters Report"

Distressed Properties in Nation's Hardest Hit Housing Markets Selling Faster Than Last Year

EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwire - April 23, 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 (NASDAQ: ZIPR) (www.ZipRealty.com).

Also, according to ZipRealty's Q1 "Home Hunters Report" released today, 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 percent 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 homeseekers. The Phoenix metro area 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. For the exact ranking of these 25 cities, as well as the full list of the top-five most searched ZIP codes in each of 33 markets served by ZipRealty, visit http://onlinepressroom.net/ziprealty/.

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 percent.

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 percent 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:


        Market                Hottest                  Coldest
        ------                -------                  -------

        Boston           Somerville (02144)       Fall River (02721)
                                98.09%                  90.48%

San Francisco Bay Area   Daly City (94015)        Sebastopol (95472)
                               110.70%                   87.46%

       Chicago         Near South Side (60616)      Harvey (60426)
                               105.86%                   76.86%

      Las Vegas        East Las Vegas (89142) Red Rock Country Club (89135)
                                99.58%                   91.44%

        Miami          Pembroke Pines (33025)    Coconut Grove (33133)
                               113.27%                   81.34%

      New York             Corona (11368)       Fairfield, Conn. (06824)
                               101.76%                   83.92%

       Phoenix              Mesa (85206)           Scottsdale (85262)
                               101.36%                   85.10%

       Seattle            Spanaway (98387)          Bellevue (98004)
                               100.33%                   89.07%

 Southern California      Hesperia (92344)        Mission Hills (91345)
                               116.84%                   86.16%


Hot and cold ZIP codes for all 31 markets that ZipRealty serves are available here: http://onlinepressroom.net/ziprealty/.

About the Report http://onlinepressroom.net/ziprealty/

Each quarter, ZipRealty compiles real estate listing and sales data from the Multiple Listing Services offered in 31 of the 36 major U.S. metropolitan areas in which the real estate brokerage operates and proprietary internal rankings and data. The data pulled and cited within this report is for the fourth quarter of 2008, beginning January 1 through March 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, to refer to ZipRealty's earnings releases and periodic reports as they are made public. Our next earnings call is on May 5, 2009, at 5 pm Eastern Time.

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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