FEB 15, 2013 12:25pm ET

ZipRealty: Sellers’ Market Returning

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The gap between the listing price for a property and the actual closing price continues to narrow in the U.S., with a growing number of sellers able to get more 98% of the listing price, a study from ZipRealty found.

"A limited inventory of homes on the market, combined with the extremely low cost of mortgage financing, has resulted in homes selling above asking price in many Western markets, boosting the average listing to closing price ratio," explains Lanny Baker, CEO and president of ZipRealty.

"The median amount of time that homes are listed on the market before they sell has shortened by more than two weeks since last year, and in some areas we are seeing one-in-five newly listed homes sell in less than seven days. Multiple-bid situations are also increasingly common in the markets we reviewed."

ZipRealty said its list of the 10 best cities for sellers includes San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Calif., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Denver, Tucson, Ariz., Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

A recent survey conducted by Redfin found some sellers are holding back putting their homes on the market because of those rising prices.

Separately, Redfin’s Real Price Home Tracker for January found home prices up 10% across the 19 markets it tracked. While sales fell 20% in January from December, they were up 12% over January 2012, making it the strongest first calendar month in four years.

Phoenix had a 31% year-over-year increase in home sales prices.

The percentage of listings that sold within 14 days was 30% in January, up four percentage points and the best level since Redfin started tracking this in 2010.

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