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buyer's market
A tight housing inventory has led to rising prices and stiff competition for house hunters in much of the country. But in some cities, homebuyers still have the upper hand.

"With reduced inventory and appreciating home prices an issue in much of the country, real estate market conditions are challenging," says Phil Karp, senior manager of brokerage services at Owners.com. "Many markets have become overheated, but there are still markets where smart buyers can find more affordable homes."

To rank the housing markets with the best deals for buyers, the online real estate brokerage examined regional averages, and weighed the importance, of each of the following categories: the difference in the prices homes are listed and sold at (30%), homeowner equity levels (25%), outstanding inventory (20%), the number of days on the market (15%) and the change in monthly rental cost compared to the previous year (10%).

On average, the price of homes in these 10 areas is $297,794, which is $35,330 below the national average and $16,375 lower than what the houses originally listed for. And in all of these markets, the average monthly payment needed to rent a home is rising, making homeownership look more attractive.

Only metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people living in them were included in the ranking. The data was compiled from public and private sources, including the U.S. Census and aggregated information from First American.
Houston
No. 10: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
Sale/listing price difference: -$15,982
LTV: -7.83%
Listed inventory: 1,523
Days on market: 98
Rental cost change: $31
NMN011018-birmingham.jpg
No. 9: Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.
Sale/listing price difference: -$13,058
LTV: -10.42%
Listed inventory: 935
Days on market: 107
Rental cost change: $20
NMN011018-sanantonio.jpg
No. 8: San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
Sale/listing price difference: -$11,794
LTV: -9.93%
Listed inventory: 1,742
Days on market: 93
Rental cost change: $28
NMN011018-miami.jpg
No. 7: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm, Fla.
Sale/listing price difference: -$26,998
LTV: -6.49%
Listed inventory: 9,961
Days on market: 115
Rental cost change: $41
NMN011018-new-york.jpg
No. 6: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-Pa.
Sale/listing price difference: -$26,568
LTV: -5.84%
Listed inventory: 10,728
Days on market: 142
Rental cost change: $38
NMN011018-hartford.jpg
No. 5: Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.
Sale/listing price difference: -$12,105
LTV: -13.35%
Listed inventory: 559
Days on market: 116
Rental cost change: $7
NMN011018-jacksonville.jpg
No. 4: Jacksonville, Fla.
Sale/listing price difference: -$15,229
LTV: -12.84%
Listed inventory: 2,085
Days on market: 102
Rental cost change: $13
NMN011018-philadelphia.jpg
No. 3: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.
Sale/listing price difference: -$13,973
LTV: -9.17%
Listed inventory: 5,952
Days on market: 115
Rental cost change: $11
NMN011018-virginia-beach.jpg
No. 2: Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.
Sale/listing price difference: -$11,959
LTV: -15.01%
Listed inventory: 2,703
Days on market: 104
Rental cost change: $11
NMN011018-chicago.jpg
No. 1: Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.
Sale/listing price difference: -$16,015
LTV: -10.07%
Listed inventory: 9,683
Days on market: 108
Rental cost change: $38