10 Places Where Homebuyers Can Still Find Deals

© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Buying a house?

In most of the country, buyers have the advantage over sellers in the housing market. In April, 59% of counties in RealtyTrac’s monthly Home Sales Report reported that homes sold at less than market value, on average. In 27% of counties, homes sold at above market value, and in 14% homes sold for almost exactly their estimated worth. The data comes from 315 counties with a population of at least 100,000 and at least 100 home sales in April.

The places where it’s a seller’s market aren’t much of a surprise: Six of the 10 counties with the best seller’s markets are in California and two are in the D.C. area, which are known for their high costs of living and tight real estate markets. The top buyer’s markets, however, are a bit more mixed, though they’re mostly east of the Mississippi River (the farthest west being on the river) and in the South.

It’s important to note that the data only includes sales in which the sales price and estimated market value is available, and 14 states do not require the sales price to be included on the sales deed — the most-populated non-disclosure state is Texas. (That doesn’t mean there’s no data from those states, rather, some data may not be available because of the laws.)

So if you’re looking to buy a home and hope for a better deal, here are the top 10 buyer’s markets in the country.

10. MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA.

Average sale price, as a percentage of estimated market value: 86.6%

Muscogee County is in western Georgia, along the Alabama-Georgia state line. Its only city is Columbus and is roughly 100 miles southwest of Atlanta. The average sales price of a home or condo in Muscogee County was $96,183 in April.

9. WESTMOORELAND COUNTY, PA.

Sale price percentage of market value: 86.5%

Greensburg, the county seat of Westmooreland County, is about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh (about an hour drive) and is considered part of the metropolitan area of that city. The average market value of a home in Westmooreland county was $110,476 in April, but buyers on average paid $95,596.

8. WASHINGTON COUNTY, TENN.

Sale price percentage of market value: 86.1%

Sitting just west of the Cherokee National Forest, Washington County is known as the “Birthplace of Tennessee,” because it is Tennessee’s oldest county. It was established as part of North Carolina, which now shares its eastern border. In April, homebuyers paid an average of $137,586 for a home in Washington County.

7. UNION COUNTY, N.J.

Sale price percentage of market value: 85.8%

Union County is part of the New York Metropolitan Area, so it unsurprisingly has one of the highest average market values on this list of great buyer’s markets. The average home sale price was $271,845 in April, compared to the $316,975 average market value.

6. IREDELL COUNTY, N.C.

Sale price percentage of market value: 85.3%

The county’s largest town is Mooresville, best known for its race track and as the home to dozens of NASCAR teams, and it’s located just about 30 miles north of Charlotte. Homebuyers paid an average of $177,933 for a home in Iredell County last month.

5. CHITTENDEN COUNTY, VT.

Sale price percentage of market value: 85.2%

About a quarter of Vermont’s population resides in Chittenden County, the county seat of which is Burlington. Of the 10 most buyer-friendly housing markets, Chittenden has the highest prices. Homes sold for an average of $273,842 in April, and the estimated average market value was $321,379.

4. BARTOW COUNTY, GA.

Sale price percentage of market value: 84.3%

Bartow County is about 45 miles northwest of Atlanta, though it is considered part of the Atlanta metro area. Homes sold for an average of $125,047 in April.

3. BEAVER COUNTY, PA.

Sale price percentage of market value: 82.0%

Like Westmooreland County, Beaver County is also near Pittsburgh — the county seat, Beaver, (both are named after the Beaver River) is about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Homes are pretty inexpensive here, selling for an average of $95,631in April.

2. BALTIMORE, MD.

Sale price percentage of market value: 77.7%

Baltimore is an independent city and does not belong to a county (one of three cities in the country like that, outside of Virginia, where there are dozens of independent cities). The average home sold for $99,673 in April.

1. ST. LOUIS, MO.

Sale price percentage of market value: 76.6%

St. Louis is also an independent city and the only place on this list that is west of the Mississippi River. With an average market value of $85,979 in April, St. Louis has one of the lowest property values of any of the 315 counties in the RealtyTrac report. With the average home price at $65,877 in April, St. Louis is about as much of a buyer’s market as you can get.

If you’re planning to buy a home in the next year, now is the time to start looking at your credit reports and credit scores to make sure your credit is in good shape by the time you search for your new home.

Written by Christine DiGangi of Credit

(Source: Credit)

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