Redfin Identifies 25 Neighborhoods that “Have It All”: Affordable Homes, Highly Rated Schools, An Easy Commute And Plenty of Inventory

Chicago’s Dunning and Ashburn Top the List, Followed By Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh

Seattle, WA – Jan. 8, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Just 25 neighborhoods have a mix of affordable homes, highly rated schools, access to public transit and plenty of inventory, according to an analysis of 80 major U.S. markets conducted by Redfin, (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage.

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More than half of the neighborhoods on Redfin’s list of neighborhoods that “have it all” are in the Chicago area, the rare major metro area that has remained relatively affordable and has largely bucked the severe inventory shortage trend seen across much of the country over the past few years. Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Miami also made the list. These are places to watch in 2018, when we expect last year’s trend in migration from expensive, high-tax coastal markets like San Francisco, Silicon Valley and New York toward smaller, more affordable cities, to intensify.

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Redfin identified the neighborhoods using the following criteria:

  • Affordability: Zip codes were selected that had a median home sale price below the national median of $291,700.
  • Home Selling Speed: Several months of falling inventory and strong demand mean the most desirable homes go off the market within days of being listed. Selected zip codes had a median days on market of at least 46.
  • Highly Rated Schools: Neighborhoods with a GreatSchools rating of 5, which is considered average, or higher were chosen.
  • Transit: Neighborhoods with a Transit Score® of at least 50, indicating many nearby public transportation options, were included.
  • Low Crime Rates: Using crime data from BestPlaces, our ranking favored places with lower reported violent crime.

The new tax bill, which caps state and local tax (SALT) deductions at $10,000, compounds affordability concerns, particularly in the high-tax state of Illinois, home to 14 of the 25 highlighted neighborhoods. Redfin agent Alex Haried in Chicago, says taxes should always be considered when analyzing affordability.

“Our general rule of thumb in Chicago is to set aside about 2 percent of the sale price for local taxes each year,” he said. “These are the same taxes that help the city maintain a world-class transit system and help our schools rank highly, so it’s a necessary evil and a big reason why so many Chicago zip codes made the cut.”

Another theme for areas that ranked highly was access to job centers, which is the case for Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh.

“Relocators have really taken kindly to Squirrel Hill not only because of the affordability, but also the commute,” said Redfin Pittsburgh agent Jennifer Sowers. “Google, Uber and Carnegie Mellon University are large employers in the area and a short commute away via public transit.”

The full report, complete with a detailed methodology, can be found here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2018/01/25-neighborhoods-that-have-it-all-affordable-homes-highly-rated-schools-an-easy-commute-and-plenty-of-inventory.html

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Redfin Housing Demand Index Fell 6.2% from October to November

Lack of Inventory Continues to Hamper Tour and Offer Activity

Seattle, WA – December 26, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — The Redfin Housing Demand Index fell 6.2 percent from 136 in October to 127 in November, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. The seasonally adjusted number of buyers requesting home tours fell slightly by 1.9 percent, while the number making offers fell 14.7 percent month over month.

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“Three years of low inventory is taking its toll on buyer demand in terms of tour and offer activity,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “People still want to buy homes, especially before mortgage interest rates increase and prices rise even more. But there just aren’t enough homes for sale, especially at lower- to mid-level prices.”

While demand softened month over month, the story is different looking at year-over-year numbers. Compared to last year, the Demand Index increased 29.1 percent in November. The number of buyers requesting tours increased 41.3 percent, and 10.5 percent more wrote offers. Demand has consistently remained about 30 percent higher than last year’s levels since May.

Across the 15 metros covered by the Demand Index, there were 18 percent fewer homes for sale last month than at the same time last year. November marked the 30th straight month of year-over-year inventory declines in these major markets and the fifth consecutive month of double-digit declines. New listings increased modestly by 1.5 percent year over year in November.

To read the full report, including metro-level demand charts, click here.

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Jon Whitely
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

Redfin Ranks 2017’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods for Homebuyers

Nineteen of the Top 25 Most Competitive Neighborhoods Were in the Seattle Area. The Rest Were in San Jose, Boston and Denver

Seattle, WA – December 21, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — The 2017 housing market was the most competitive for homebuyers since 2013, according to a new analysis from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Just over half of all offers written by Redfin agents this year encountered competition. That’s up from 49 percent in 2016, but below 2013’s high of 65 percent. The pace at which homes went off the market made the competition more intense this year. Homes found buyers after a median 45 days on market, six days fewer than 2016.

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Forty-one percent of homes that were listed in 2017 were Redfin Hot Homes, a designation earned by homes with 7/10 or higher odds of going under contract within their first 14 days on the market, as determined by Redfin’s proprietary algorithm.

Grass Lawn in Redmond, Washington earned the distinction of most competitive neighborhood in 2017. Nineteen of the 25 most competitive neighborhoods of 2017 were in the Seattle metro area, where 67 percent of homes listed this year were Hot Homes–the highest share of any market–and 62 percent of offers written by Redfin agents faced bidding wars. Competition was strong across the Seattle market, both in more suburban neighborhoods like Grass Lawn and Crossroads (#3) and more urban neighborhoods like Lower Queen Anne (#13). Several neighborhoods in North Seattle made the ranking, including Pinehurst (#2), Victory Heights (#10) and Licton Springs (#11).

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In Grass Lawn, 73 percent of homes sold for over asking price and the typical home found a buyer in just six days. The average sale-to-list price ratio was 108.4 percent, an indication that many homes were bid up well-above asking price.

“Grass Lawn is so super-competitive because it’s very close to the Microsoft campus, and Google is also expanding its footprint in the area. It is a suburban area with mostly older homes,” said Redfin Agent Gina Madeya. “The area offers easy access to one of only two freeways that can get you across Lake Washington and into downtown Seattle and it’s also a short drive from the shops and restaurants in downtown Redmond and Kirkland.”

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Madeya helped a family purchase a home in Grass Lawn earlier this year. The home, which she says came on the market slightly underpriced at $860,000, was bid up to over $1 million. Her clients were absolutely in love with the home. Their offer wasn’t the highest, but they won over the sellers by waiving all contingencies, working with a reputable lender and providing a $100,000 earnest money deposit.

“This sounds extreme, but that’s what it takes in some neighborhoods because demand is so high for so few homes,” says Madeya. “My advice to a Seattle buyer is to get really clear about your full financial capability and your risk tolerance. Find out what you can truly afford and start looking at homes well below that amount, so that when that bidding war inevitably happens, you have some leverage to work with. Get clear early in the search so you and your agent can be more deliberate and strategic.”

Bidding war strategies often come with risks for the buyer, and Redfin recommends homebuyers speak to an agent to determine the appropriate strategy.

A complete methodology and additional insights on 2017 competition, including rankings of major metro areas according to bidding war and Hot Homes frequency, are available here.

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Alina Ptaszynski
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

18 Bitcoins will Buy the Average American Home

Redfin Says People are Beginning to Bring Cryptocurrency to the Housing Market

Seattle, WA – December 15, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage, has seen cryptocurrency starting to become part of the discussion with some clients buying and selling homes over the past three months. Agents in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and several cities in California said they’ve had conversations with people about using cryptocurrency as part of their transaction. Currently, Redfin does not accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

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Bitcoin, the first digital currency that works without a bank or middleman, surged 183.6 percent in the last month, from $5,870.37 per coin on Nov. 12 to $16,650.01 on Dec. 12, according to Bitstamp data. Its market cap is more than $293 billion, and while some analysts warn of a crypto bubble, others say Bitcoin could eventually compete against the gold market.

Regardless, cryptocurrency has created fast wealth for investors, and now some are cashing out and going house hunting.

Carina Isentaeva, a Redfin agent in San Francisco, recently helped a client write an offer on a luxury home in Silicon Valley that was contingent on the sale of cryptocurrency. The offer was accepted, but the buyer ended up backing out when his cryptocurrency didn’t sell. Isentaeva said she’s confident he will buy when it does.

Jeremy Paul, a Redfin agent in San Diego, also worked with clients who held Bitcoin. He said his clients cashed out two bitcoins, valued at $7,435 each, to cover the closing costs on a home in Carlsbad, CA.

And homebuyers aren’t the only ones in the cryptocurrency game. Redfin found 75 listings nationwide in which the seller mentioned he or she will accept Bitcoin as payment. The seller of a condo in Miami is requesting payment in Bitcoin only; it will cost the buyer 33 coins.

One way to illustrate the unprecedented growth of Bitcoin is to look at the price of the typical home in bitcoins over the past year. For example, in January 2016 in San Francisco, the typical home would have cost a buyer 2,805 bitcoins. Today, the median home in San Francisco is 82 bitcoins.

For buyers who have made a lot of money on the recent surge in cryptocurrency value, buying a home is a reasonable way to use the proceeds. For sellers accepting bitcoin, however, it’s riskier because accepting cryptocurrency as payment is a bet that it’s going to continue to increase.

“It’s hard to say whether the use of cryptocurrency to buy and sell homes is a long-term trend or just a blip based on the recent spike in value,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “In some ways, cryptocurrency investors have just won the lottery, and so it makes perfect sense to buy their dream home. On the other side of the ‘coin’, sellers probably wouldn’t accept lottery tickets as payment.”

Read the full story, here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/12/18-bitcoins-will-buy-the-average-american-home.html

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Jon Whitely
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

Wildfires Threaten SoCal Housing Markets Already Struggling with Unaffordability and Low Inventory, According to Redfin

  • National home prices rose 7.8 percent in November as inventory declined 12.8 percent
  • Pace and competition in housing market continued to accelerate in November after 26 months of inventory declines
  • Sonoma County housing market felt impact of October wildfires as inventory plunged 47 percent
  • In Ventura and Santa Barbara counties where wildfires are threatening homes, inventory has declined by double-digits for three months straight and fires could worsen the inventory shortage
  • San Jose prices climbed 23 percent and competition reached new heights in November

Seattle, WA – December 14, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Home price growth was strong in November, up 7.8 percent from last year, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. The median sale price was $292,000 across the markets Redfin serves. Sales were down 1.3 percent. The number of homes for sale declined 12.8 percent compared to a year ago, marking 26 months in a row of inventory declines.

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“Overall, 2017 has been an uneven year for home sales. The year started out strong, but a combination of low inventory and weather events overtook sales growth; sales have been flat to declining in six out of the past 11 months,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “The good news is markets have been quick to recover from severe weather events, even as challenges remain. For example, Houston home sales were up 4.3 percent in November from a year ago, and Tampa sales were up 6.1 percent. We are hopeful that Southern California markets show the same level of resilience in the aftermath of wildfires there.”

The number of homes newly listed for sale in November increased a modest 1.1 percent. Any increase in new listings is welcome news for buyers, however, the number of homes put on the market in November wasn’t enough to put a dent in the long-standing inventory shortage. There were 3.1 months of supply in November, far below the six months of supply that represent a market balanced between buyers and sellers. Nationally, the typical home spent 46 days on the market, four days fewer than last November.

2017 has been the fastest market on record and if current trends continue, Redfin predicts 2018 will be even faster.

Wildfires Threaten California Communities Already Facing Inventory Shortages

In parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, hundreds of homes have been destroyed by wildfires and hundreds more are under threat from fires that remain uncontained. While it is too early to know how many families and homes will be impacted, we do know these counties are already facing a shortage of homes for sale. Families who are displaced by the wildfires will find it challenging to find another home for sale nearby.

In Ventura County in November, inventory was down 17.6 percent and prices grew 9.8 percent year over year to a median of $600,000. In Santa Barbara County, inventory was down 23.3 percent and prices grew 6.8 percent year over year to a median of $575,000. The fires will cause further stress in an already tight housing market.

“The fires have had a big impact on the people and communities in and around Ventura, Ojai and Santa Barbara,” said Redfin agent John Venti. “Our already low inventory levels are likely to take a beating in the coming months not only from the loss of homes but also the disruption of life and business in the area. A few prospective home sellers have texted me as they were being evacuated to cancel our listing consultation appointments. But these fires, devastating as they are, are temporary. I’m optimistic that people will resume their holiday festivities and business as usual as soon as the fires are extinguished and the air clears.”

The impact of the October wildfires in Northern California was seen in November market data. In Santa Rosa, one of the hardest hit cities, inventory fell 46.6 percent in November from a year prior, a 27.8 percent drop from October. Across Sonoma County, inventory declined 31.2 percent year over year and prices rose 15.2 percent to a median of $633,000. The typical home in Sonoma County sold for 101.6 percent of the asking price, the highest sale-to-list price ratio since 2013. This spike in competition is unusual for the November market and likely related to the fires.

Home sales were up 8 percent year over year in Santa Rosa and 6.4 percent in Sonoma County in November. December sales in the affected areas may decline as a result of the fire activity.

Other November Highlights

Competition

  • The most competitive market in November was San Jose, CA where 75.9% of homes sold above list price, followed by 73.1% in San Francisco, CA, 66.0% in Oakland, CA, 43.5% in Seattle, WA, and 42.0% in Tacoma, WA.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio in San Jose was 107.9 percent, the highest on record in that market since Redfin began tracking this data in 2009.
  • San Jose, CA and Seattle, WA were the fastest markets at 12 median days on market, followed by Oakland, CA (14), Boston, MA (15) and San Francisco, CA (17).

Prices

  • San Jose, CA had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 23% since last year to $1,076,000. San Francisco, CA had the second highest growth at 18.5% year-over-year price growth, followed by Cleveland, OH (15.9%), Seattle, WA (15.4%), and Salt Lake City, UT (13%).
  • Honolulu, HI was the only metro with a price decline in November falling 3.2%.

Sales

  • 4 out of 73 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Richmond, VA led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 14.6%, followed by Honolulu, HI, up 14.2%. Philadelphia, PA rounded out the top three with sales up 10.8% from a year ago.
  • Allentown, PA saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 13.3%. Home sales in Grand Rapids, MI and Rochester, NY declined by 13.1% and 11.0%, respectively.

Inventory

  • San Jose, CA had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 50.2% since last November. Atlanta, GA (-32.1%), Buffalo, NY (-30.4%), and Oakland, CA (-29.1%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Salt Lake City, UT had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 40.3% year over year, followed by Baton Rouge, LA (10.9%) and Austin, TX (9.1%).

To read the full report, complete with data and charts, please visit the following link: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/12/market-tracker-november-2017.html

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts
Redfin Journalist Services:

Alina Ptaszynski
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

Redfin Housing Demand Index Dipped 1.7 Percent from September to October; Still 26.6 Percent Higher Than Last Year

Home-Touring Activity Remained Strong, But Few Homes to Bid On Caused Offer Activity to Soften

Seattle, WA – November 29, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — The Redfin Housing Demand Index fell 1.7 percent from 137 in September to 134 in October, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Still, the Demand Index, which is adjusted for Redfin’s market share growth, increased 26.6 percent year over year in October.

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The Demand Index is based on thousands of Redfin customers requesting home tours and writing offers. A level of 100 represents the historical average for the three-year period from January 2013 to December 2015.

Across the 15 metros covered by the Demand Index, there were 14.8 percent fewer homes for sale last month than there were a year prior. October marked the 29th straight month of year-over-year inventory declines in these major markets and the fourth consecutive month of double-digit declines. Meanwhile, new listings posted a much needed gain for the first time in five months, up 2.6 percent in October.

The seasonally adjusted number of buyers requesting home tours remained essentially flat from September to October, increasing 0.6 percent, while the number making offers fell 5.4 percent. Compared to last year, 43.7 percent more buyers requested tours in October and 4.4 percent more wrote offers.

“The fact that touring activity remained constant while offers dropped off in October tells us that the buyers are still there; there’s just not much to bid on,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “The small boost in the number of homes newly listed for sale is certainly the bright spot of this report. Additionally, the most serious buyers can rejoice that we are nearing the holidays, which bring less competition from other buyers for homes that sellers are often very eager to unload before the new year.”

To read the full report, including metro-level demand charts, click here.

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Jon Whitely
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com