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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.


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