Redfin Report: Seattle and Honolulu Move up the Ranks of the Best Cities for Public Transit in 2018

New York, San Francisco and Boston Top the 2018 Transit Score Rankings

Seattle, WA – Feb. 21, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — New York, San Francisco and Boston are 2018’s best cities for public transit according to new Transit Score® rankings by Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Transit Score, a tool by Redfin company Walk Score®, rates locations based on how convenient they are to public transportation. Each of the top three cities has a Transit Score above 70, meaning it has an excellent transit rating, with public transportation being a convenient option for most trips.

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While the rank order for the six best cities for public transit has stayed the same since 2012 when Transit Score first launched, there was a lot of movement at the bottom of the top-10 list.

In 7th place, Seattle has a Transit Score of 59.6, up 2.6 points since 2016, the biggest jump among the top 10. In the past two years, Seattle has expanded its Link light rail service, adding two new stations in 2016, making it easier and faster to get to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. A 2017 survey by the Seattle Department of Transportation found that public transit use had increased by 48 percent in the past seven years.

“Seattle is not only the coolest city in the country – we are now one of the most transit-friendly cities,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “For our visitors, commuters and residents, public transit is safe, affordable, and a vital component in making sure our city is accessible to all. With the opening of new light rail stations and one of the highest bus riderships in the country, Seattle is making significant strides towards becoming a world-class transit city.”

Honolulu gained 1.6 points of Transit Score since 2016 and entered the top 10 list for the first time, replacing Miami. More than 69 million passengers in Honolulu ride TheBus annually and the city is planning a new rail system to further improve public transportation.

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“Honolulu has been a public transportation city for many years now and the fact that our residents and visitors use TheBus an average of 214,000 trips every weekday is a testament to this fact,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “The new Transit Score ranking announced today by Redfin is proof that the nearly 2,000 workers who keep our bus system running strive for excellence each and every day, and our commitment to a transit system that covers all of O’ahu will only improve once our rail project begins service along our busiest and most populated corridor.”

Below is a ranking of the top 10 U.S. cities (with populations of more than 300,000) for public transit.

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Washington, D.C., had the largest decrease among all major cities in Transit Score, dropping 2.2 points over the past two years to 68.5 in 2018. The decrease can be attributed to changes in Metrobus and Metrorail scheduling, where some bus routes were discontinued and the frequency of trains during rush hour was lowered.

“Once touted as the gold standard for public transit, D.C.’s Metro is now reckoning with decades of deferred maintenance,” said Redfin Washington D.C. agent John Marcario. “Tough decisions to reduce service and shut down lines for extended periods for repair are causing short-term frustration, but will hopefully make the system better in the long run. Despite the fall in Transit Score, access to transit remains a top priority for D.C. home buyers, who are still willing to pay a premium to live near a metro station.”

Bakersfield, CA (-2.2), Miami, FL (-2.2), Boston, MA (-1.8) and Baltimore, MD (-0.6) rounded out the cities with the biggest Transit Score decreases from 2016 to 2018.

With the addition of 600 new U.S. cities and more than 4,000 new neighborhoods, Transit Score ratings are now available for more than 900 cities and nearly 15,000 neighborhoods on walkscore.com. Among the newly added cities are big ones like Jacksonville, FL (22.4) and Charlotte, NC (27.4), along with smaller cities with Transit Score ratings like Hartford, CT (54.2) and Syracuse, NY (44.1).

The full report that includes a breakdown of the cities with the biggest Transit Score increases and a detailed methodology can be found 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.

Redfin: Strong January Home Price Growth and Declining Inventory Signal Another Competitive Spring for Homebuyers

Home Sales Fell in January Due to Inventory Shortage and Tax Reform Uncertainty

Seattle, WA – Feb. 15, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Home prices increased 7.8 percent year over year in January, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. The median sale price was $280,500 across the markets Redfin services. Sales were down 7.9 percent annually as the ongoing inventory shortage showed no signs of ending. The number of homes for sale in January dropped by 14.4 percent, the largest year-over-year decline in 28 consecutive months of falling supply.

The typical home that sold in January found a buyer after 53 days on the market, six days faster than January 2017. The percentage of homes that sold above list (19.2%) and the average sale to list price ratio (97.8%) were both up slightly compared to January of last year, setting the stage for a spring market that could be even more competitive than last year.

“Sales volume is typically lowest in January, so while sales fell further than normal, it is not a major cause for concern,” said Redfin senior economist Taylor Marr. “Redfin agents in high-tax states reported that some buyers were hesitant in November and December given the uncertainty around tax reform, which passed in late December. This uncertainty contributed to the drop in January home sales.”

Marr says potential move-up buyers are now reassessing whether it makes sense to list their homes in the face of higher mortgage rates and less favorable tax treatment for their next home. Some buyers have determined lower deductions may be offset by other tax cuts, but those tax cuts won’t hit buyers’ paychecks for a couple months.

Redfin agents report eagerness among buyers to purchase a home before mortgage rates inch up further and prices rise any higher– if they can find a home they want to buy.

“Many buyers are concerned about interest rates, but the biggest driver of this market is inventory, not rates,” said Redfin Washington, D.C., agent Joe Krupsaw. “None of my clients have said they’ll change their plans to buy if rates increase. I think when rates hit 4.5 percent we’ll see some buyers reassess their budgets and what they can afford, but they won’t stop looking for a home.”

Just 6 percent of respondents to a recent survey commissioned by Redfin said they would cancel their home buying plans if rates rose above 5 percent. Twenty-seven percent said it would cause them to slow their search, 25 percent said it would have no impact, 21 percent said it would increase their urgency to buy, and another 21 percent said they would look for a less expensive home.

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San Jose Homes Sold a Month Faster than Last Year

For yet another month, San Jose was the fastest and most competitive market in the country. The typical home found a buyer in 12 days, 30 days fewer than last January. San Jose homes sold for an average of 9 percent over the asking price, which is the highest sale-to-list price ratio Redfin has recorded in that metro area.

“Buyers in San Jose have shown a complete disregard for recent comparable offers and are coming in swinging in order to win a home,” said Redfin Silicon Valley agent Kalena Masching. “It has gotten to the point where buyers are submitting preemptive offers that are so good it’s not worth the seller to wait for an official offer deadline or the first open house.”

Other January Highlights

Competition

  • San Jose, CA was the fastest market, with half of the homes that sold last month under contract in just 12 days, down from 42 days from a year earlier. Seattle, WA and Oakland, CA were the next fastest markets with 16 and 17 median days on market, followed by Denver, CO (19) and San Francisco, CA (23).
  • The most competitive market in January was San Jose, CA where 75.5% of homes sold above list price, followed by 62.2% in Oakland, CA, 60% in San Francisco, CA, 41.7% in Seattle, WA, and 37.6% in Tacoma, WA.

Prices

  • Memphis, TN had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 24.6% since last year to $162,000. San Francisco, CA had the second highest growth at 23.8%, followed by San Jose, CA (21.6%), Baton Rouge, LA (17.8%), and Seattle, WA (15.4%).
  • Four metros saw price declines in January: Milwaukee, WI (-2.7%), Camden, NJ (-2.6%), Birmingham, AL (-2.3%), and Baltimore, MD (-1.8%).

Sales

  • Only 11 out of 73 metros saw positive sales growth in January from last year. Salt Lake City, UT led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 11.9%, followed by Greenville, SC, up 11.8%. Kansas City, MO rounded out the top three with sales up 7.5% from a year ago.
  • Michigan metro areas saw the largest declines in sales since last year, led by Detroit, MI where sales declined 29.7%. Home sales in Grand Rapids, MI and Warren, MI declined by 29.1% and 28.4%, respectively.

Inventory

  • San Jose, CA had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 43.6% since last January. Rochester, NY (-37.5%), Buffalo, NY (-37.1%), and Atlanta, GA (-35.4%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Only two metro areas had increases in the number of homes for sale in January: Baton Rouge, LA (16.7%) and Honolulu, HI (7.6%).

To read the full report, complete with data and 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.

Redfin Migration Report: Affordable Inland Metros Drew People from San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles

Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas Were the Most Popular Migration Destinations at Year End

SEATTLE, Feb. 7, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) In the fourth quarter of 2017, people in expensive, high-tax coastal markets like San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, searched for homes in more affordable metros with lower taxes like Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Nashville, according to the latest Migration Report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage.

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Of the 22 percent of Redfin.com home searchers who looked to move to another metro area, the following key trends emerged:

  • San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago posted the highest net outflows.
  • Fast-growing, mid-tier metros in the Sunbelt, including Phoenix and Las Vegas, and the South, including Atlanta and Nashville, had the highest net inflows.
  • Seattle saw more users looking to leave than to move to the area for the first time since we began tracking this data at the beginning of 2017.

The analysis is based on a sample of more than 1 million Redfin.com users searching for homes across 75 metro areas from October through December. Redfin began systematically tracking homebuyer migration at the beginning of 2017 and these fourth-quarter trends follow the migration patterns observed throughout last year.

Redfin expects that in 2018, this migration pattern will intensify as tax reform becomes a reality and more people choose to relocate in search of a lower cost of living.

“People leaving coastal hubs in search of affordability has been a consistent trend for the last five years,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Late last year there was a twist. Many of the popular migration paths that we saw Redfin.com users exploring yielded tax benefits along with increased affordability.”

By comparing annual property, state and local tax burdens from the 2016 Tax Rates and Tax Burdens in the District of Columbia: A Nationwide Comparison report, we’re able to estimate what a move from one metro to another might entail from a tax perspective. For example, 18.2 percent of all Redfin.com searches for homes in Las Vegas in the fourth quarter came from Los Angeles; a family earning $150,000 who made this move could save $7,785 in taxes and would likely pay less for a similar home, given that the typical home in Las Vegas costs about $333,000 less than in Los Angeles. Similarly, the 9 percent of New Yorkers looking to leave who considered Atlanta might save $5,809 in taxes and benefit from a $161,000 lower median home sale price.

“Lower taxes and more affordable housing have historically drawn Californians away from the coast to places like Nevada and Arizona,” said Heidi Ludwig, a Redfin Agent in Hermosa Beach. “The recent changes in tax law have been coming up in my conversations with prospective home sellers. Last year, several of my home-selling clients followed their employer, Toyota, to its new facility in Plano, Texas. I expect to see more people move in the same direction this year, but for different reasons including taxes and overall affordability.”

Seattle showed a negative net outflow in the fourth quarter, a first since we began tracking migration patterns at the beginning of 2017. Among local users who were looking to leave, 10.6 percent were eyeing Los Angeles, followed by Bellingham, Wash., Portland and Phoenix, each of which captured at least 8 percent of Seattleites looking to leave.

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To read the full report, complete with an interactive data map of metro-to-metro migration trends and full methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2018/02/q4-migration-report.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 Survey: 15% Of Respondents Sold Their Home Or Did Not Buy Last Year Due To Concerns About Immigration Policies

37% of People of Color Felt they May Have Been Discriminated Against When Trying to Buy a Home

Seattle, WA – Feb. 6th, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) Fifteen percent of respondents to a 2017 housing market sentiment survey said they either sold their home or did not buy one last year because of concerns about how restrictive immigration policies or proposals would affect them, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. From November 1 to December 6, 2017, Redfin commissioned a survey of 4,270 U.S. residents in 14 metropolitan areas who bought or sold a home in the past year, attempted to do so or planned to do so soon.

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Asked how restrictive immigration policies or proposals affected their decision to buy or sell a home, 8 percent of respondents said they sold their home in the last year because they were worried they wouldn’t be able to stay or work in the U.S. much longer. Seven percent did not purchase a home for the same reason.

“I’ve seen buyers finally get offers accepted, only to cancel the contracts,” said Gabriella Stwart, a Redfin agent in Bellevue, Washington. “We’re having conversations with professionals working at large companies who are eager to sell or not buying because their visas are expiring or close to it and might not be extended.”

The survey results reveal that housing markets in certain parts of the country are more likely to be affected by immigration policy. Among respondents in the Los Angeles area, 32.7 percent said they sold or did not buy a home because they were worried they wouldn’t be able to work or stay in the country much longer. In Baltimore, 18.5 percent said the same, as well as 16.8 percent in San Francisco.

Other findings in this first in a series of three reports on this survey include:

  • 18% of millennials who bought a home in the last year now live in the political minority in their new community.
  • 37% of people of color felt they may have been discriminated against when trying to buy a home, down from 43% in a similar survey in May.

“The two data points we have about the perception of discrimination in housing reveal just a snapshot of what amounts to a short moment in our country’s long history of racial inequality in housing, and change in the actual incidence of such discrimination is likely to happen only slowly over many years,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist. “It’s more likely that that the trend we see in this snapshot reveals an aberration last year around the contentious Presidential election, when racial tensions and anxiety about discrimination were heightened. However, when it comes to where people can live, work and go to school, the idea that more than a third of people of color buying a home still don’t believe that their money is as good as anyone else’s is a massive problem.”

To read the full report, complete with data, charts and a full methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2018/02/immigration-policies-caused-15percent-to-sell-or-not-buy.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 Report: Wildfires Threaten $1.5 Trillion Worth of Homes in the United States

Housing Markets in California’s Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara Counties are at the Greatest Risk of Wildfire Destruction but Local Homebuyers are Not Deterred

SEATTLE, Feb. 5, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Wildfires threaten $1.5 trillion worth of homes in the United States, representing a disproportionately large portion–7.7 percent–of U.S. housing value, according to Redfin, (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. The counties at the greatest risk–California’s Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara–are among the country’s most expensive housing markets and are already plagued by ongoing inventory shortages. But local real estate agents say the wildfire risk is not deterring homebuyers from continuing to put down roots in these communities.

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“People who are still in shock from losing their homes and possessions from the October fires are greeting one another at open houses while comparing notes on the hotels or rentals where they are temporarily living,” said Redfin Santa Rosa agent Starling Scholz. “People view wildfire risk as a price of living in California that’s well worth the rewards: beautiful weather, nature and well-paying jobs.”

Below are the top 10 counties for risk of wildfire destruction, ranked according to the estimated total value of homes at risk. To be considered, there had to have been at least five major fires recorded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the county since 1960. Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara counties top the list, which is dominated by California counties. The only non-California counties to make the list were Harris and Dallas counties in Texas and Clark county in Nevada. California is so predominant in the ranking not only because of the state’s high frequency of wildfires, but also because of its desirable, expensive housing markets. If demand for homes in these places doesn’t subside, inventory shortages and affordability crises in these places will likely continue as wildfires inevitably destroy more homes each year.

Top 10 U.S. Counties for Fire Risk

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“Restrictive zoning and underbuilding make wildfires even more damaging for homeowners and renters in affected areas. Despite strong demand and severe inventory shortages, California has built the fewest number of homes per new resident of any state, with just one unit for every four new residents, compared to one new unit for every 1.8 new residents nationally,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “When people whose homes just burned down are jumping back into bidding wars to buy new homes in the same area, you know wildfires alone won’t cool these competitive markets. However, California’s chronic lack of homes and eroding affordability make recovering from a natural disaster much more challenging than in states like Texas with more adequate housing supply.”

Redfin Santa Barbara agent John Venti has noticed that while wildfires certainly pose a risk to homes, California’s overall affordability is a bigger concern for homebuyers.

“I was touring with clients last month, and in the 15 minutes it took to see the home, our cars were completely covered in ash from nearby wildfires,” said Venti. “The homebuyers were not fazed. If anything, people are more often deterred from buying homes in this area by high gas prices and high taxes than wildfires.”

For the people who are still interested in buying homes in wildfire zones, Venti has some advice.

“It’s important to get a fire insurance quote before falling in love with a home,” he said. “We’ve had people and properties receive exorbitantly high quotes for fire insurance. Others were flat-out denied coverage because the home was too risky or the buyer had a large outstanding claim from a previous fire. California FAIR Plan property insurance may be able to provide insurance for homes that have been denied coverage.”

The full report, complete with a detailed methodology, can be found here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2018/02/wildfires-threaten-1-5-trillion-worth-of-homes-in-the-united-states.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 Predicts the Hottest Neighborhoods of 2018

Nine of the 10 Hottest Neighborhoods of 2018 are in San Jose, a Popular Destination for Tech Workers Priced Out of San Francisco

Redfin Also Named 2018’s Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach, Led by Hillcrest and Deanwood in D.C. and Riverview in Seattle

Redfin Identifies the Three Hottest Neighborhoods in each of 49 Major U.S. Metro Areas

Seattle, WA – Jan. 29, 2018 (PRNewswire) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage, today announced its 6th annual list of neighborhoods across the country it predicts will be the year’s hottest. In 2018, nine of the 10 hottest neighborhoods are in the San Jose metro area.

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“While the San Francisco peninsula has traditionally been the hottest of the hot places, we’re seeing it become unaffordable for even the tech giants that helped create its demand in the first place,” said Redfin Silicon Valley agent Kalena Masching. “The result has been a tech-worker migration to the South Bay charged by people looking for relative affordability, highly rated schools, short commutes and access to jobs.”

To rank the neighborhoods that are heating up the most, the brokerage analyzed hundreds of millions of pageviews to Redfin.com and homes that users favorited to monitor for price and status changes. The analysis also takes into account insights from Redfin real estate agents who specialize in neighborhoods across these 49 major U.S. metros.

Hottest Neighborhoods (Neighborhood, Metro Area)

1. Bucknall, San Jose, CA
2. Cambrian, San Jose, CA
3. White Oak, San Jose, CA
4. Ortega, San Jose, CA
5. West Santa Clara, San Jose, CA
6. Sunnyvale West, San Jose, CA
7. Lakewood, San Jose, CA
8. Sunnyside, San Francisco, CA
9. Blacow, San Jose, CA
10. Rex Manor, San Jose, CA

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To identify very hot, but relatively affordable neighborhoods in other parts of the country, this year Redfin also named the Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach. This list identifies hot neighborhoods where median home sale prices fall below the December 2017 national median of $286,700. Topping this list are Hillcrest and Deanwood in Washington, D.C. and Seattle’s Riverview, which have plenty of greenspace and easy access to job centers. This ranking also surfaced several neighborhoods across the Midwest, with hot hoods like Misty Meadows, Country Lakes, Brewer’s Hill, Stevens Square and Downtown St. Louis in Columbus, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Louis cracking the top 10.

Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach (Neighborhood, Metro Area)

1. Hillcrest, Washington D.C.
2. Deanwood, Washington D.C.
3. Riverview, Seattle, WA
4. Misty Meadows, Columbus, OH
5. Fairmount, Providence, RI
6. Stevens Square, Minneapolis, MN
7. Brewer’s Hill, Milwaukee, WI
8. Country Lakes, Chicago, IL
9. Downtown St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
10. South Coast, Orange County, CA

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“The Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach list has places chock-full of amenities and diverse housing types,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Features like easy commutes, farmers markets and proximity to parks or the beach all represent livability characteristics that many people value when searching for homes. Also, these areas have a mix of single family homes, condos and townhouses, which make the neighborhoods accessible to a wide range of incomes.”

The full report, complete with data and agent quotes for the 10 Hottest Neighborhoods, the 10 Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach and a list of the top three Hottest Neighborhoods for 49 metro areas can be found here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2018/01/nine-out-of-redfins-10-hottest-neighborhoods-of-2018-are-in-san-jose.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.