America’s 10 Best Buyers’ Markets Where You Can Still Score a Bargain Below Asking Price

Buyers face a tough housing market these days: with listing prices hovering in the $430,000s and mortgage interest rates near 7%, the cards seem stacked against them.

But not all markets are equally scary. In fact, some are true buyer’s markets where cash-strapped home buyers can strike a bargain.

So where are these hidden havens where shoppers have a leg up? To help, crunched the numbers to find the best buyer’s markets around the country right now.

What defines a buyer’s market?

To identify buyers’ markets, economists looked for metros with a low sales-to-listing price ratio. This means that the areas had homes that sold for the lowest price compared to their original listing price.

Buyers’ markets are a product of high inventory levels and often slowing time on the market, explains economist Hannah Jones. When buyers have more options, homes stay on the market longer and sellers are more likely to compromise to move a home sale along.

Jones notes that the 10 largest buyer’s markets saw homes sell for an average of 9% less than their original listing price.

By comparison, nationally, homes were selling for about 3% less than the original asking price, she says.

According to a study by, there are still genuine buyers' markets in America.
According to a study by, there are still genuine buyers’ markets in America. Shutterstock

Buyers’ markets can be found all over the US, even in surprisingly desirable places like the Sun Belt, where warm weather is the norm.

But just because it’s a buyer’s market doesn’t mean prices are lower.

It just means sellers will be more eager to meet buyers halfway by either lowering their asking price or offering concessions such as a mortgage rate buyout to sweeten the deal.

Curious about where real estate choices abound? Check out the top 10 buyer’s markets, along with what buyers will typically pay for a home in the area, the number of listings, days on the market and interesting details about living there.

Median list price: $299,500
Average days on market: 58
Number of listings: 251

Located less than an hour from both St. Augustine and Gainesville, Palatka delivers a taste of old Florida along the St. Johns River. Residents say they can enjoy a relaxed pace of life and those who enjoy fishing and boating will be in paradise.

While it tops the list of the best buyer’s markets in the country, that may soon change.

Prices and traffic have certainly experienced significant growth over the past few years, says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, licensed in California and Florida.

You can find some more affordable waterfront properties in this area that are well under $1 million, as well as homes priced in the low $200,000 to $300,000 range, Ameer adds.

Median list price: $1,300,000
Average days on market: 80
Number of announcements: 1,306

Key West may be as close to island life as you can get in the US, and has long been a vacation destination due to its tropical atmosphere.

Located a few hours south of Miami, the city has gorgeous beaches, swaying palm trees and classic architecture in pastel colors. For snorkelers and scuba divers, its paradise.

Yes, it’s a buyer’s market, but housing isn’t cheap.

The lowest-priced homes currently start at just under $800,000, and these are compact at about 1,000 square feet, Ameer says. But it’s all about location, location, location.

Homes in the top 10 buyer's markets sold for an average of 9% less than the original listing price.
Homes in the top 10 buyer’s markets sold for an average of 9% less than the original listing price. Shutterstock

Median list price: $1,125,000
Average days on market: 54
Number of listings: 427

Breckenridge is where snowmobilers, ice skaters, snowmobilers and other types of nature thrive. It is also notable for its walkable, charming downtown area and stunning storybook setting with mountain views.

Having Breckenridge as your home base won’t come cheap, though: The average home list price is around $1.8 million, but it’s possible to find a sweet cabin for less than $500,000.

In this buyer’s market, homes typically sell for more than 3% of the benchmark below asking price.

Median list price: $699,900
Average days on market: 58
Number of announcements: 1,388

Buyers eager to snag a good deal and a great lifestyle in the scenic Great Smoky Mountains may want to call Sevierville home.

Sevierville is located on the banks of the French Broad River and offers a variety of properties from compact homes for $150,000 to large homes in the million dollars.

Residents give high marks to the natural beauty, downtown restaurant scene and nearby attractions like Dollywood, a NASCAR track and the RainForest Adventure Zoo.

Median list price: $299,900
Average days on market: 47
Number of listings: 404

Jackson is the closest community to Mayberry, says Ronnie Ragan, a real estate agent with Ragan Realty Group in Jackson. It offers the quintessential warmth and friendliness of the town depicted in the 1960s TV show Mayberry RFD

Jackson is about an hour and a half from Nashville and Memphis, TN, and several hours from Atlanta and Paducah, KY. So it’s quite easy to get a flight to almost anywhere.

The school options are many: public, private and dynamic home schooling.

Properties are available at a range of prices: A starter home here costs $200,000 to $225,000, while higher-end homes can exceed $1 million.

Median list price: $292,575
Average days on market: 42
Number of listings: 236

Nestled an hour and a half northwest of Atlanta, Rome is a city of 36,000 known as the Nice Capital.

Rivers and rolling hills make this a great place to call home, and homes are currently in good supply. Starter homes, whether a classic four-bedroom brick or a sleek contemporary, can be found for $250,000 and up.

Plus, the city has grown as a medical center, with a high-end job market for that sector.

Median list price: $450,000
Average days on market: 41
Number of announcements: 267

Southeast of Sacramento, Sonora is known as the Queen of Southern Mining in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Nature lovers may find it’s a hot spot for affordable homes within striking distance of Yosemite National Park and several other outstanding outdoor recreation destinations.

As people in California look for more affordable and less crowded places to live, this one checks a lot of boxes, Ameer says. You can find homes in the mid $200,000s to $400,000s, and more affordable luxury homes for $600,000 to $1 million.

Median list price: $349,900
Average days on market: 49
Number of listings: 130

Tennessee makes’s list of best buyer’s markets again, this time with Greenville, located in the hills to the northeast.

Here, you’re likely to buy a home for a fraction of the change below the asking price and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with around 15,000 other residents.

The town offers plenty of history (President Andrew Johnson made his home there), the Niswonger Performing Arts Center for a dose of culture, and plenty of places to hike and fish.

Median list price: $402,000
Average days on market: 54
Number of listings: 261

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest: Roseburg is a town of about 23,000 where buyers can likely pick up a property for a good discount off the asking price.

Home prices start in the $250,000 range, and the market offers everything from sweet Victorians to modern homes spread out in leafy neighborhoods.

Roseburg boasts mild weather, unlimited opportunities to explore the verdant landscape, plus wineries to visit during business hours. It’s just over an hour from Eugene and three hours south of Portland.

Median list price: $449,948
Average days on market: 74
Number of listings: 2480

Panama City is adjacent to Panama City Beach, making it an ideal location for those who want to live where they can put their toes in the sand easily and often.

The area has largely been overlooked as surrounding areas have boomed, from sleepy coastal towns along the Gulf of Mexico to luxury destinations, Ameer says. As people look for more affordable areas of Florida, Panama City has homes from $200,000 to $400,000. The same square footage can be $300,000 to $400,000 more going east in the Jacksonville area, for example.

It’s possible to find good value here and this diverse city with active tourism could be a good fit for buyers who work in hospitality or want to.

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