NEW YORK - Home buyers in much of the United States paid thousands of dollars below asking prices in November, but had less negotiating power than in October, real estate website Zillow.com said on Thursday.
According to November Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, buyers paid 2.6 percent less, or a median of $5,538 below the listing price on homes bought in November, down from $5,741, or 2.7 percent, for homes bought in October.
That marked the 10th consecutive month that discounts shrunk, meaning buyers were negotiating less and less off the final asking price each month, Zillow said in the report obtained exclusively by Reuters prior to its scheduled release.
Buyers' negotiating power peaked in January, when buyers were paying 4.5 percent off the asking price, a median of $10,178, Zillow said.
Meanwhile, sellers are also holding back on cutting their listing prices. The percent of listings with a price cut fell in November compared to October.
In November, 20.5 percent listings on Zillow had a price cut compared to 22.7 percent in October. In November 2008, 33.9 percent of listings had a price cut, the reports showed.
In some markets, buyers continued to negotiate large discounts. Buyers had the greatest negotiating power in the South. In fact, 12 of the 25 top markets with the most buyer negotiating power were in Florida.
Vero Beach, Florida, once again topped the list in November after falling into second the previous month. Buyers there negotiated 9.3 percent off the final asking price -- a median discount of $21,279. Also in the top 25 were Atlantic City, New Jersey; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Chicago and New York Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
On the other end of the spectrum, buyers are not finding much room to negotiate in California. Zillow's data shows buyers getting little to no discount off the final listing price there. In fact, buyers in hard-hit Stockton, California, paid a median of $5,538 more than the final asking price, the reports showed. (Editing by Neil Stempleman)