The pandemic sparked mass migrations from bustling city centers to slow-paced suburban neighborhoods, where buyers have been able to get more bang for their buck. However, the boost in demand has sparked double-digit home price growth over the past nine months — meaning buyers need to make their move before they’re priced out.
According to realtor.com’s latest market analysis released on Tuesday, the explosion in price growth is happening in suburbs across the country, including little-known metros such as Wayzata, Minnesota, and Brandon, Mississippi.
“The burbs where prices are rising the most are a mixed bag right now, a combo of traditionally sought-after places situated near some of the nation’s most expensive cities; lesser-known towns in more far-flung regions; and even a couple of popular vacation spots,” the report read. “But all offer decent value per square foot for the money—even with those price increases—and plenty of local outdoor amenities such as parks, lakes, or beaches.”
Lakewood, New Jersey topped the list with median home prices increasing a whopping 47.6 percent to $309,000 from October 2019 to October 2020. Realtor.com said Lakewood has a plethora of condo and townhome communities with amenities for the 55-plus crowd, which has led to an influx of baby boomers moving to the area.
“There are plenty of home sales coming from folks already in the area desperately looking to trade up—or scale down—in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report read. “Older adults can pick up a two-bedroom starting as low at $80,000 in a golf course community if they’re willing to put in a bit of work, or even find a fully renovated two-bedroom with marble and granite galore for just $169,000.”
Lake Arrowhead, California, nabbed second place with median home prices increasing 45.7 percent year-over-year to $499,000. Lake Arrowhead is only 90 minutes from Los Angeles, making it the perfect place for buyers to enjoy the resort life while being close enough to the hustle-and-bustle of the city.
Despite the jump in median home prices, realtor.com said buyers have been flocking to the area as evidenced by the 47.7 percent sales increase during the same time period.
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, rounded out the top three with median home prices increasing 33.1 percent year-over-year to $399,500. Right outside of Detroit, Grosse Pointe is a favorite locale for luxury homebuyers who want to reside in the same neighborhoods the Fords once lived in.
“Prices have been rising like crazy as city slickers seeking greener pastures engage in bidding wars; however, not all buyers need access to a trust fund to get into the market (though it never hurts),” the report read. “Young families willing to do some updates have been able to snatch up cute fixer-uppers including [a] $219,000 three-bedroom or [a] large four-bedroom listed at $315,000.”
Beacon, New York; Delray Beach, Florida; Jasper, Georgia; Paradise Valley, Arizona; Brandon, Mississippi; Roanoke, Texas; and Wayzata, Minnesota rounded out the top 10 with median home prices rising between 33.1 and 26.1 percent from October 2019 to October 2020.
Despite double-digit price growth, a majority of the median prices on the list are still below the $500,000 mark, except for Paradise Valley and Wayzata, where homes are going for up to $2.5 million. Even then, agents said those prices are a steal compared to the price trends of other coastal metros.
“Maricopa County has been one of the most moved-to areas in the United States for a long time now with money coming in from California, Seattle, and even the East Coast,” Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty agent Marta Walsh told realtor.com. “If you cashed out a big house in San Jose, prices here look quite reasonable even if looking for a $3 million or $4 million house.”