Buyers: Where the Deals Are: Long Island and Chicago

We’ve seen the hot seller markets, heating up competitive bidding all over the country. We've heard how low inventory is pushing national demand way over national supply. But does that mean the days of the buyer market are over? Hardly.  Even in those exciting metros where below market transactions are becoming more rare, there are cities offering buyers great deals and favorable bargaining power. And some of the nation’s metro areas haven’t caught fire to the same degree as those we’ve been exploring. We’ll detail where the deals are in the coming weeks.  Today we’ll look at two urban locations, Long Island in the east and Chicago in America’s mid-west.

Long Island, NY

Long Island consists of 4 distinct areas, 2 more urban and 2 more suburban: respectively, Queens and Brooklyn and Nassau and Suffolk. So, in some respects, if you love New York but can’t afford Manhattan, nearby Long Island may be for you, whether you seek the edgy vibrancy of the city or the calmer family-oriented pace of the suburbs. The metro as a whole, according to our data, is still buyer friendly.

Below asking Long Island

©ZipRealty, Inc

Though erratic, the percentage of homes selling below asking was on the rise in May, and has never dropped below 88%. As to whether Long Island offers jobs-- so you could afford that great deal of a house once you got there-- we can't say for sure, of course, but data from the Department of Labor shows "The number of private sector jobs on Long Island increased over the year by 8,100, or 0.8 percent, to 1,050,400 in May 2012. As in April, professional and business services and financial activities, which are relatively high-paying sectors, had strong over-the-year growth adding 6,000 and 3,100 jobs respectively."

Of course, the different areas of Long Island offer different property values and different levels of competition among buyers. So, if you're interested in Long Island, your best bet is to get help from a local real estate agent.

Meanwhile, search all homes for sale in Long Island.

Chicago, IL

Chicago has actually made news lately for progress in its real estate market. The metro posted over an over 12% increase from April and an over 13% increase from May of 2011 in homes sold and an increase in the median sold price of its homes, up more than 10% from April 2012, and up over 8% from May of 2011. That progress doesn't mean buyers can't still find great deals in Chicago, however. Check out the data:

Chicago below asking

©ZipRealty, Inc

Buyers may note the downturn on below asking property sales, but we still argue Chicago offers a decent buyer's market: look at the numbers.The percentage of homes sold for below asking hasn't dipped below 74% as if May of 2012, and though that percentage is dropping, such conditions can be ideal for buyers. Think of it this way: you buy now, when the market is starting to improve, and after you buy, it continues to improve. In other words, your home gains equity quickly, perhaps more quickly than it would in a flat market.

Chicago, like any metro, contains cities, districts, and neighborhoods, each with distinct market conditions. Speak to a local real estate agent if you've got your heart set on the windy city for the most accurate, current information.

Meanwhile, start checking out what Chicago has to offer: search the MLS for all homes for sale in Chicago now.

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Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert.