During the Great Recession, the housing market crashed nationally for the first time in U.S. history. There had certainly been local and even regional housing downturns in the past, but it was the first time home prices fell nationwide.
Read MoreProperty: What $500K can get you
Now, as the recovery moves forward, the national market is turning local again, with more clear distinctions between "buyers" and "sellers" markets.
A market's particular leaning isn't necessarily based on where prices are rising most. Home prices are still stronger nationally than they were a year ago, according to various surveys, although the gains are shrinking. A market is a buyers or sellers one depending on how long it takes to sell a home, whether price cuts occur or whether homes sell above asking, according to a new report from Zillow, which ranked some of the top markets for both.
"Real estate has always been local, but as we continue to put the housing recession further in the rear view mirror, the largely uniform performance of local markets is also fading," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. "We now have several different types of markets emerging, including markets that are still muddling along the bottom; markets that shot up immediately after the recession ended and are now cooling quickly; and markets that are still very hot."