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Which cities are the best for home buyers and home sellers?

The housing market has definitely rebounded since hitting its lows back in 2008 and 2009, but just how positively you view the economy depends on where you live. There were some pockets of the nation that barely saw any decline in home prices, while other locations such as San Francisco and Las Vegas got hit hard.

A new report gives some interesting insight into the housing market, indicating that the best markets for sellers are the ones that were hit the hardest by the economic crisis. California, which you would not typically think would be a good place to sell a house dominates the current listing of the best places for sellers as compiled by Zillow (Z).

Of the top 30 markets for sellers, California cities held 24 of the slots.

The top five sellers’ markets are:

  1. San Jose, CA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Sacramento, CA
  4. Las Vegas NV
  5. Phoenix, AZ

Homes in these markets are selling very fast, typically in less than two months. In many cases the homes are selling for more than the initial listing price. While these areas may be the easiest places to sell a home, the ease of the sale comes at a cost… and that cost is the dramatic price adjustments that took place in recent years.

With prices at their current level, buyers have been coming back into the market. But another thing working in favor of sellers is that there a a lot of investor interest in these regions. Big investors have been entering the market and buying properties in bulk to convert them into rental properties.

There are also a lot of properties in these regions that have negative equity. This is also known as being “underwater” and occurs when a property value falls below the amount of the remaining mortgage. These homeowners are in a position where they cannot get out of their homes, which helps keep inventories low, which works to the advantage of the homeowners who can sell.

Michael Fowlkes

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va.