ZipRealty : Phoenix Leads U.S. in Median Home Price Gains, Outpacing Red-Hot San Francisco Bay Area, Says ZipRealty

 ZipRealty : Phoenix Leads U.S. in Median Home Price Gains, Outpacing Red-Hot                     San Francisco Bay Area, Says ZipRealty  Prices increased 36 percent on a YOY basis in Phoenix, while the San Francisco Bay Area and Tampa also posted strong increases.  EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 7, 2013 - ZipRealty, Inc. (http://www.ziprealty.com) (NASDAQ: ZIPR),the leading online technology-enabled residential real estatebrokerage company, has released the most accurate and complete MLS data showing that Phoenix median home prices have increased more than any other market in the U.S. on a year-over-year basis. Median home prices rose 36 percent in the Phoenix MSA from November 2011 to November 2012. The Silicon Valley recorded the second-highest price increase during that time at 30 percent, while Tampa prices rose 26 percent. Rounding out the list at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, were San Francisco's East Bay and the city of San Francisco, which jumped 24 percent and 23 percent, according to MLS data.  Phoenix median home prices increased from $116,000 to $158,000 from November 2011 to November 2012. "There are likely a few different factors contributing to this surge, including decreased housing inventory, lower unemployment numbers, high-tech job growth, steady population gains and increased investor activity, especially from out-of-area buyers," says Lanny Baker, Chief Executive Officer and President of ZipRealty, Inc.  "Phoenix saw a strong run-up in housing prices from 2004 through 2006," says Daniel Leboffe, Director of Agent Development at ZipRealty and a Phoenix area Realtor since 1997. "Phoenix was one of the leading markets for price increases during the real estate boom fueled by affordable housing, population growth, relaxed lending standards, zero-down financing and investor/speculator interest. Conversely, it was one the hardest hit areas during the Great Recession, resulting in a strong spike in foreclosures and short sales. Now, a number of these cities within Greater Phoenix are seeing some of the biggest rebounds," he adds.  With investors acquiring foreclosures and the mortgage delinquency rate declining, the inventory of distressed homes in Phoenix has decreased, according to Mr. Leboffe. "As a result, many buyers -especially first-time buyers - are being priced out of the existing housing market, and turning to newly built properties. To meet this new demand, developers have acquired large tracts of land to build new homes," notes Mr. Leboffe.  Mr. Leboffe observes that, once again, strong interest from out-of-area investors has impacted housing prices in Phoenix. "Out-of-area investors have ramped up home buying activity during the past three years or so, which has placed upward pressure on prices," he says. "Because of the mild local weather, relatively cheap cost of housing and favorable currency exchange, Canadians have been a notably active segment of the local market. They typically pay cash and actively purchased foreclosed homes for both investment and as second homes, which helped relieve market distress," he shares.  "As the local economy strengthens and as newly built homes come to market easing relatively low levels of resale homes, more people should have the ability to purchase a home in Phoenix, in spite of still-tight underwriting standards being implemented by the lending community," notes Mr. Leboffe.  West Coast cities, Florida dominate Home prices in the western region of the U.S. and Florida strengthened in November, according to the most complete and accurate MLS data. Median home prices in California's Silicon Valley jumped from $420,000 to $545,000 (30 percent) as of November 2012. Tampa prices increased from $100,000 to $126,000, a 26 percent increase, while home prices in San Francisco's East Bay rose from $290,000 to $360,000 (24 percent). Properties in San Francisco, which still boasts the highest actual prices in the U.S., grew from $635,000 to $782,000, or 23 percent.  Home Price Map                                       ###                               www.ziprealty.com  About ZipRealty, Inc. ZipRealty is a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry. For home buyers and sellers who increasingly want control, choice and a seamless, customized service, ZipRealty offers Internet-enabled, state-of-the-art technology and complete access to accurate, timely information via their website and mobile applications, which real estate professionals can combine with their own local knowledge and personal expertise to offer an exceptional start-to-finish client experience. For real estate professionals who seek more productive ways to conduct business, ZipRealty provides technology and online marketing tools to enhance their online sales channel, including lead generation, conversion and service of their clients. ZipRealty's technology and online marketing products serve its full-service, owned-and-operated residential real estate brokerage business in 19 markets nationwide, as well as its Powered by Zip network of leading third-party local brokerages in 13 markets.  MEDIA CONTACT: Stacey Corso 510.735.2667 scorso@ziprealty.com  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------  This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.  The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.  Source: ZipRealty via Thomson Reuters ONE HUG#1668404  
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