Best Real Estate Markets in 2012

Which Real Estate Markets Are Doing Best in 2012?
Whether you sit on the east coast, overlooking the Pacific, along the Mexican border, or somewhere in between, your real estate market has undoubtedly taken a major hit over the past few years.
But as the bursting housing bubble gets smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror, which real estate markets are recovering the best?
Here’s our top 5 list for 2012 so far:
1. Oakland
You simply can’t ignore the fact that Oakland’s median sales price was 21% higher in July 2012 than it was in July 2011. Plus, houses here are selling 32% faster than they were in mid-2011.
As an added benefit, the number of foreclosures and short sales on the market here only makes up 17% of the listings. That’s better than the national average — where, as a whole, 25% of the residential listings are made up of foreclosures and short sales.
The only downside to all of this?
The number of listings around Oakland has gone down over the past few weeks. At 4%, the decrease is very slight, but it’s proof that people are still a little hesitant to sell here. However, if numbers like these stick around, more sellers may decide to pull the trigger.
2. Phoenix
Like Oakland, Phoenix has seen a major increase in the median sales price since the beginning of 2012. As of mid-July, the median sales price was up to $121,000. That’s a $25,000 increase in the past seven months!
Unlike Oakland, though, Phoenix is seeing its number of home listings go up. As of August 20th, there were nearly 15,000 residential properties on the market here. That’s slightly higher than it was in July — but still lower than this time last year.
That slip aside, though, it’s hard to ignore a city that has seen the average price per square foot increase more than 700% from this time last year — which is why Phoenix ranks so highly on our list!
3. Miami
Down in the Sunshine State, you’ll find a classic example of supply and demand. The number of residential listings is down nearly 14% from this time last year, but the median asking price is up — all the way to $239,000!
Miami buyers seem to be OK with the increase, though, since houses on the market here are selling faster than they have in previous months.
Amazingly, though, lots of Miami buyers are skipping the mortgage process altogether. In fact, 65% of Miami’s home sales in June were all-cash!
4. San Jose
Similar to Miami, all it took was a smaller inventory to drive up sale prices. In San Jose, there were only 3,803 residential properties on the market as of August 20th. That’s a 5.5% decrease from July, and a whopping 44% decrease from this time last year!
San Jose sellers are definitely using that lower supply to their advantage, though. As of August 20th, the median asking price was just under $550,000. That’s 13% higher than what we saw this time last year!
5. Seattle
Since we rang in the new year, Seattle’s median asking price has gone up by more than $50,000. At $320,000, that’s still nearly $90,000 lower than what it was before the bubble burst, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction! In fact, Seattle hasn’t seen increases like these since 2007.
One thing that appears to be working in Seattle’s favor? The unemployment rate here is 7.8% — lower than the national average.