SOURCE: ZipRealty

ZipRealty

February 13, 2009 08:00 ET

Phoenix/Scottsdale, Orlando and Charlotte Among Hottest Areas in U.S. for Home Buyers, According to ZipRealty Q4 2008 "Home Hunters Report"

Report From Top-Ranked Real Estate Brokerage Site Measures Popularity of U.S. Cities and Neighborhoods by Number of Home Searches and Sales-to-List Price Ratios in 31 Major Metropolitan Markets

EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwire - February 13, 2009) - Phoenix and its nearby cities of Chandler and Scottsdale, along with Orlando, Fla. and the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin, were the hottest cities in the U.S. for home buyers in Q4 of 2008, according to the number of home searches on the online real estate brokerage site, ZipRealty (www.ZipRealty.com) (NASDAQ: ZIPR).

Also according to ZipRealty's Q4 "Home Hunters Report" released today, Charlotte, N.C. sellers are getting much more than asking price, with listings fetching the highest sales-to-list price ratio for sold homes during the same time period at 122 percent.

ZipRealty, a full service residential real estate brokerage whose popular home search site is one of the top-five ranked real estate destinations on the Web, releases data related to search and sales patterns in each of the 35 metropolitan areas it serves each quarter as the "Home Hunters Report." For Q4 2008, popularity of cities or neighborhoods was measured by number of home searches or by the sales to list price ratio. Go to http://www.ziprealty.com/pdf/2008_4Q_HomeHunterReport.pdf to download copy of the full report.

Hottest Cities by Search Activity

Sunshine and Sun Belt cities rule the roost when it comes to most popularly searched cities by homeseekers. Overall, 24 of the top 25 most searched U.S. cities by home buyers were in the Southwest states, including California (Irvine, Chula Vista, Huntington Beach, Pasadena, Fremont), Arizona (Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale), Texas (Dallas, Austin, Houston) and Nevada (Henderson-Green Valley, Henderson-Anthem/Seven Hills) or the Sunshine State (Miami, Miami Beach, Kissimmee, Naples, Boca Raton, Glendale, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale). Atlanta, Ga. was the only exception to that trend.

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 the 35 markets served by ZipRealty, visit http://www.ziprealty.com/pdf/2008_4Q_HomeHunterReport.pdf.

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

In addition to Charlotte, N.C. (28212), other U.S. ZIP codes fetching the highest offers above asking price include Chino Hills, Calif. (91709), Corona, N.Y. (11368) and Miami, Fl. (33130). On the other end of the spectrum, neighborhoods with the lowest sales-to-list price ratios include West Garfield Park (60624), Ill., and Coconut Grove (33133), Ponte Vedra Beach (32082), and Clearwater (33767 and 33756), Fla., where homes are going for 18 to 20 percent below asking price on average.

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

--  Boston - Mattapan (02126) at 100.85 percent and East Boston (02128) at
    91.24 percent.
--  San Francisco Bay Area - San Jose/East Valley (95122) at 102.74
    percent and Healdsburg (95448) at 92.07 percent
--  Chicago - Loop (60605) at 103.82  percent and West Garfield Park
    (60624) at 81.53 percent
--  Miami - Miami (33130) at 113.27 percent and Coconut Grove (33133) at
    81.34 percent
--  New York - Corona (11368) at 115.22 percent and West Hempstead (11552)
    at 88.95 percent
--  Seattle - Everett (98201) at 101.07 percent and Mercer Island (98040)
    at 91.10 percent
--  Southern California - Chino Hills (91709) at 116.79 percent and
    Calabasas (91302) at 82.25 percent
    

Hot and cold zip codes for all 31 markets ZipRealty services is available here: http://www.ziprealty.com/pdf/2008_4Q_HomeHunterReport.pdf

"Homebuyers have long-flocked to sunshine states to find their permanent residence, a second home or even an investment property. Combining warm weather with declining home prices and an increase in foreclosure properties is a recipe that's attracting potential homebuyers to cities in the Southwest, Southeast and much of California," explains Leslie Tyler, vice president and chief home hunter for ZipRealty.

About the Report http://www.ziprealty.com/pdf/2008_4Q_HomeHunterReport.pdf

Each quarter, ZipRealty compiles real estate listing and sales data from the Multiple Listing Services offered in the 35 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 October 1 through December 31. The metropolitan areas ZipRealty cites as part of its monthly report are defined by the brokerage, and may differ from standard DMAs. The 35 markets include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Bakersfield, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Naples, Norfolk, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco-Bay Area, Seattle, Tampa, Tucson, Westchester County, and Washington D.C.

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 March 12, 2009, at 5 p.m. Eastern standard 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 35 major markets in 20 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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