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USA Real Estate Blog

12 best winter housing market cities for bargain hunt homebuyers

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House hunters are starting to gain more leverage at the negotiating table.

Homebuyers have been battling rising home prices and competitive bidding wars in recent years, but many local markets are finally showing signs of more favorable conditions.

Cities where price cuts are becoming more frequent, rent appreciation is accelerating and affordability has improved are giving purchasers more room for negotiation and lenders a better shot at seeing more business from borrowers, according to Zilllow.

While winter is the slowest time of the year for home sales and mortgage activity, lenders are projected to generate 20% of their annual origination volume during the first quarter of 2019, including $226 billion in purchase loans, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data.

In areas where the share of listings with price cuts grows, buyers may see less local competition as properties sit on the market longer. And in cities projected to experience more rapidly rising rent prices, consumers may opt for a home purchase. Potential homeowners may also feel less financial pressure in regions where affordability is better than historic norms.

From Chicago to Orlando, here’s a look at 12 housing markets where homebuyers can expect to have more negotiating power this winter.

The rankings are derived from a Zillow analysis of three metrics for each market: the share of listings with price cuts compared to a year ago; rent appreciation forecasts; and mortgage affordability.

Price cut, rent forecast and home price data are based on September 2018. The second quarter 2018 affordability data is calculated by the portion of median household income going toward a mortgage payment for the median home price, assuming a 20% down payment and 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to Zillow.

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