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Top cities for the best off-market real estate properties

Spokeo uncovers the best locations to find real estate not actively marketed or sold through traditional agents.

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Choosing the location for your family home is one of the most important decisions of your life, and while it is important to factor in considerations such as local school ratings, crime statistics, and employment opportunities in the area, something else that should be factored in is how likely the property is to sell, and the areas that have seen the most off-market estate transactions

Off-market real estate refers to properties that are not actively marketed or sold through traditional estate agents and has become an increasingly popular trend, particularly in major cities or desirable areas. This is due to the discreet nature of the sale, which can be useful for high-profile personalities or families going through financial and personal issues, or simply if the homeowner doesn't want to deal with multiple bidders. For the majority of cases, off-market sales are of benefit to both the buyer and seller – homeowners can save on substantial estate fees and are dealing with just one interested party, while buyers can negotiate a price without the influence of multiple bidders or have the opportunity to purchase their dream home rather than wait for it to hit the market.

To uncover the best major cities for this, along with the hidden gems across the country, Spokeo's research looks at the main house buying factors and the likelihood to sell.

The research analyzed more than 12 million properties, taking into consideration house prices and average loan to value (a financial ratio that compares the mortgage to the market price of asset being purchased) and the proprietary likelihood to sell score (developed by AI and machine learning to determine how likely a property is to sell in the next 90 days), along with population density (working on the assumption that increases are a measure of location desirability), neighborhood safety, school ratings and employment status.

Key Findings

  • Atlanta, Georgia, had the best ranking of all the major cities analyzed for likelihood for the properties to sell.
  • Arizona's capital Phoenix came second of the places that are most likely to sell.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, topped the index for the best city to live, due in part to reasonable housing costs ($588,189) and a relatively safe crime ranking.
  • California was the state with the highest number of cities in the best places to live rankings, with nine of its cities making the top 50 rankings.
  • Texas was the state that saw the second highest number of cities to make the rankings, with two making the top ten – Fort Worth in 6th and Houston in 9th.

Best Major Cities For Off-Market Real Estate Properties

To understand the best major cities for off-market real estate properties, the research analyzed a range of different variables, including population density (working on the assumption that increases are a measure of location desirability), neighborhood safety, school ratings and employment status, as well as loan to value rates.

Spokeo worked alongside Leadpipes AI to conduct the ranking, using its Propensity to Sell score to collate the findings. This approach uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to assign every property in the country a number, which correlates with its propensity to sell in the next 90 days.

The research found that Atlanta, Georgia, had the best ranking of all the major cities analyzed for likelihood of the properties to sell. The capital city of the Peach State had one of the lowest averages of unemployment rates in all the cities analyzed, and a particularly low crime ranking for its population. 

Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, came second with a likelihood to sell average of 574.75 out of 1000. With warmer than average temperatures and reasonable home prices (the average property costs are $685,995), it is no surprise that it is seen as an attractive choice for homeowners. Although Las Vegas isn't known for its residential areas, 628,970 Americans call Sin City home, and with a higher than average likelihood to sell average (574.06), properties here could be a lucrative investment for property flippers or those looking to quickly sell their home.

The best major cities for off-market real estate properties, based on the likelihood to sell analysis, are:

 

Best Major Cities for Off-market Properties

Tabular list showing results to the best major cities for off-market properties.

Spokeo

The likelihood to sell mean average has been calculated using all the properties in each area within the Spokeo database – the closer the score to the top rating of 1,000, the higher the likelihood the property will sell within the next 90 days.

Best Undiscovered Cities For Off-Market Real Estate Properties

Although major cities always see a lot of property interest, especially from commuters who are often willing to settle off-market to secure a home in sought after areas, the research looked to uncover the best undiscovered cities for booming real estate. As well as looking at the likelihood to sell averages, the undiscovered cities rankings were weighted by the number of employed adults in the area, loan to value ratios, crime rankings and health care ratings, as well as average home prices.

Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Carolina Panthers, topped the index for the best city to live. With reasonable housing costs and a relatively high crime ranking (of which 10 is the safest average), Charlotte also scored highly for school ratings – making it a popular choice for those with families. Although Charlotte topped the index for the best place to live, it is one of only two North Carolina cities to make the list, Raleigh being the only other location in the Tar Heel state.

The full list of best undiscovered cities for off-market real estate properties, based on the index, are:

Where to Find the Best Undiscovered Off-market Properties

Tabular list showing results to the best undiscovered cities for off-market properties.

Spokeo

Unsurprisingly, California was the state with the highest number of cities in the rankings. Long Beach was the only Golden State city to make the top ten, which is primarily due to receiving the safest crime rankings possible.

With over half a million residents and its close proximity to Downtown LA, this coastal resort is a great choice for homeowners looking for the best of both worlds. Other California cities that made the top 50 best places to live include Oakland (25th), San Diego (29th), Sacramento (38th), Fresno (39th), Bakersfield (43rd), San Jose (46th), Los Angeles (47th) and San Francisco (48th).

Texas was the state that saw the second highest number of cities to make the rankings, with two making the top ten – Fort Worth in 6th and Houston in 9th. The second largest state by both landmass and population, residents benefit from affordable housing, low taxes and warm weather. 

Fort Worth had the highest loan to value average, meaning a more lucrative ratio of what you borrow as a mortgage against how much you pay as a deposit. This combined with a high employed population makes it the best place to look for off-market real estate in the Lone Star State. Other cities to make the ranking include Austin (14th), Dallas (19th), San Antonio (40th) and El Paso (42nd).

Best known for the Grand Canyon, Arizona was home to three of the cities that made the top 50 best places to live, according to our research. Phoenix, which came second in both the major city likelihood to sell index and the undiscovered cities ranking, our research shows this is potentially one of the most lucrative cities for real estate. Other cities which made the rankings are Mesa, the third largest city in the state, and Tucson, home to the University of Arizona.

Florida may be the most visited state in the U.S., but how does it compare to other states when it comes to real estate? Interestingly, just three of the Sunshine State's cities made the rankings, with just one (Jacksonville) making the top twenty, in 16th place. Boasting the largest urban park system in the country, this combined with Jacksonville's rich history makes it a great choice for those looking to benefit from outdoor space within an inner-city surrounding.  Other major Florida cities that made the rankings include Tampa (22nd) and Miami (31st). 

Methodology and sources

Spokeo worked alongside Leadpipes AI to conduct the ranking, using its Propensity to Sell score to collate the findings. This approach uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to assign every property in the country a number, which correlates with its propensity to sell in the next 90 days. The likelihood to sell mean average has been calculated using all the properties in each area within the Spokeo database – the closer the score to the top rating of 1,000, the higher the likelihood the property will sell within the next 90 days.

The research analyzed 12,132,366 properties, taking into consideration house prices and average loan to value for properties in each area, along with employment rates, school and healthcare ratings, crime rates and the likelihood to sell ratio, which considers population density and neighborhood safety. In addition to Spokeo's database, other data sources included Zillow and the U.S. Census Bureau.

This story was produced by Spokeo and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.