Looking to buy a home? You might want to relocate to Virginia Beach, Va.

The metropolitan area ranked as the No. 1 home buyer market in the country, according to a study from online real-estate brokerage Owners.com ASPS, +0.79% The report analyzed the housing markets in metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people based on a number of factors, including average price difference between sold and listing prices, how long on average properties stayed on the market and the number of homes up for sale.

In Virginia Beach, homes on average sold for 3% below their list price, likely because homes were on the market for 51 days longer than the national average. Meanwhile, the average cost of rent has only risen in the Virginia Beach metro area, which also includes Norfolk and Newport News, by $7 over the last year. That relatively low increase means that renters who want to buy a home may be in a better position to set aside money toward a down payment.

On average, homes in the top 10 markets for buyers sold for $229,790, which is $4,500 below the national average. And the average monthly rent only increased by $26 year-over-year in these cities, compared with $40 nationally.

Here are the other cities that ranked in the top ten housing markets for buyers:

Metro areaMedian sales prices for single-family homesAverage difference between sale and list priceAverage time on market (in days)Average number of homes for saleAverage change in rent (from previous year)Percentage of listed properties sold
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$245,000 -$8,37611113,482$7 23%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$235,000 -$7,8921104,329$15 25%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$240,000 -$9,14811330,660$9 42%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$250,000 -$9,92310416,125$33 37%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$215,000 -$9,9059521,399$40 38%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH$148,500 -$7,790976,496$13 42%
Jacksonville, FL$220,000 -$9,8731036191$24 43%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL$339,900 -$16,20411427,512$67 29%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$247,500 -$9,88510526,123$28 46%
Pittsburgh, PA$157,000 -$7,1371056,387$28 40%

On the flip side, Owners.com also analyzed which markets most benefited sellers and which markets were most “overheated,” meaning that residents needed to spend more than a third of their household income on mortgage payments if they purchased a home in that area.

These two lists had a great deal of crossover: San Jose, Calif., and San Francisco topped both lists, with San Jose ranking as the most overheated market and San Francisco as the best city for home sellers.

Nine of the 10 most overheated markets, in fact, were in California, based on Owners.com’s analysis. Other cities where buying a home was markedly expensive (relative to income) include Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego and Napa. The only non-California city to appear on that list was Boulder, Colo., where buyers would need to devote 35.3% of their household income to the mortgage even though homes sell by nearly $10,000 less than list price on average.

Other markets that ranked among the best for home sellers include Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Dallas, Salt Lake City and Kansas City. “It’s not surprising that West Coast cities continued to be strong seller markets in 2018, however the data shows that markets like Texas are becoming more desirable for home buyers, likely because home prices there are more affordable than in other areas of the country,” Dario Cardile, vice president of growth at Owners.com, said in the report.

Author: Jacob Passy

Source: MarketWatch | This is the best place to buy a home in the U.S.