Bigger homes and outdoor space are the amenities homebuyers want most amid the pandemic. As a result of extended lockdown orders and a prolonged health crisis, many of those buyers have gravitated toward the suburbs.
Ten suburbs across the U.S. have the best size-to-price ratio — where buyers can get more home for less, according to a new analysis by realtor.com released Monday. Analyzing listing prices for homes with more than 1,800 square feet, the report does not identify the most affordable towns but rather the ones where buyers can get more space compared to other suburbs of the same major city.
“Home buyers these days are looking for more space — for right now, in the midst of a pandemic when we’re spending an incredible amount of time at home, but also in the post-pandemic future, when life returns to normal,” realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said. “They are also mindful of expenses given a still-healing economy and elevated unemployment rate, so affordability is top of mind.”
See the full list below:
Sicklerville, New Jersey (Philadelphia)
Home to several parks and forest lake areas, the quiet suburb of Sicklerville is just 30 minutes outside Philadelphia. The median listing price is $282,000 — the 20 percent drop in price, or $118 vs. $148 per square foot, compared to the city has been attracting buyers since the start of the pandemic.
“We are finding, not just Philadelphia, but people from New York City are coming down,” Joseph Rivera, an agent at BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors Moorestown, told realtor.com. “You’re getting more for your money, and you’re not right on top of one another.”
Cedar Hill, Texas (Dallas)
Another suburb lauded for its proximity to nature, Texas’ Cedar Hill is a 30-minute drive from Dallas. It’s called “the city in a park” due to the 32 parks and 36 miles of hiking trails enjoyed by its 50,000 residents. The median listing price is $352,000, adding up to a 23 percent reduction in price-per-square foot compared to Dallas.
“What’s best about this area, however, is the affordability of nice homes,” reads the report. “Buyers can find large homes with plenty of outdoor space, including this newly renovated, 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom with a large patio near Kingswood Park for $348,000.”
Palos Hills, Illinois (Chicago)
Sixteen miles outside the very center of Chicago, the suburb of Palos Hills regularly scores high ratings for its schools and quality-of-life. The median listing price clocks in at $379,000 but the $139 per square foot is a 24 percent drop from the $184 it costs in Chicago.
“Buyers can find nice-size homes on large lots, including this $389,000 four-bedroom, located right near horse riding trails and nature preserves,” reads the report.
Marietta, Georgia (Atlanta)
At once a historic and popular suburban location, Georgia’s Marietta boasts a median listing price of $440,000 and a price per square foot of $143. That’s a 21 percent drop from the $181 per square foot in Atlanta, which is only 25 minutes away.
“Marietta has long been one of Atlanta’s most popular suburbs,” reads the report. “Its historic downtown boasts tree-covered squares dotted with shops and restaurants.”
Jersey Village, Texas (Houston)
The city closest to the center of its nearby metropolitan area, Houston suburb Jersey Village has been rapidly expanding and attracting new residents — just like all of Texas over the past decade. The median listing price is $447,000 but the price-per-square-foot difference from the center of Houston ($126 vs. $198) is significant (36 percent).
“Attracted by the good schools, many families have been picking up large homes for their growing broods,” the report reads.
Hanover, Massachusetts (Boston)
The Boston suburb of Hanover is certainly a high-end option (the median listing price clocks in at $670,000) but the city still allows affluent buyers to get much more size per dollar than in the center of the city. The price per square foot is $231, a 34 percent drop from Boston’s $350.
“There has been huge demand,” Rosemary Mancuso, owner of the Rose Mancuso Team Keller Williams Realty, told realtor.com. “With a lot of people working remotely, they want to stay in and around the city area but be able to get land.”
Pine Island Ridge, Florida (Miami)
A 30-minute drive from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Pine Island Ridge is a popular residence across different age groups. The median listing price is $679,000 while price-per-square foot is $224 — a 34 percent drop from the $341 seen in Miami.
“Dotted with lakes and nature trails of the Pine Island Ridge Natural Area and the Pine Island Ridge Trail, the neighborhood offers buyers great deals on large, waterfront homes, including this three-bedroom listed for $479,900 and this three-bedroom with a pool for $569,999,” the report states.
Clark, New Jersey (New York City)
The suburbs of New York City tend to be farther away and more expensive than similar towns in other parts of the country — New Jersey’s Clark is 40 minutes away and has a median listing price of $798,000. While it is an expensive town favored by high-earning professionals from the city, the $242 one pays per square foot is a considerable drop (34 percent) from the $366 one would pay within the five boroughs.
“It boasts good schools, beautiful homes, and plenty of places to dine, shop, and have fun at,” reads the report. “Buyers here can find relatively affordable mansions with manicured lawns.”
Ashton, Maryland (Washington, D.C.)
An hour’s drive from D.C., Ashton is the suburb farthest from a city on this list. With a median listing price of $844,000, the originally Quaker city allows politicians and other power players from the city to get the kinds of large estates that are simply not available in D.C. — $178-per-square foot is a 39 percent drop from D.C.’s $294.
“Starting in the mid $400,000 range, buyers can find historic homes with plenty of outdoor space,” the report states.
Fullerton, California (Los Angeles)
By far the most expensive suburb on this list, Fullerton is a 30-minute drive from Los Angeles and has seen its prices skyrocket (the median listing price is $1.2 million) along with the rest of Southern California. But since price per square foot is a 27 percent drop from the city ($418 vs. $570), it is a popular option for high-earning buyers looking for a larger home.
“Home to multiple universities, a vibrant art scene, and more than 50 city parks all within a 12-minute drive to Disneyland Park, it offers the biggest savings for home buyers out of all 10 metros,” reads the report.