Here’s the latest on ten hot home markets to watch from realtor.com’s recently released report, America’s Top Ten Markets To Watch .
The top ten markets considered secondary and under the radar according to realtor.com are ranked in order. They include Spokane, Washington, Portland, Maine, Knoxville, Tennessee, Deltona, Florida, Boise, Idaho, Jacksonville, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, North Port, Florida and Bakersfield, California. These markets made the watch list thanks to affordability (relative to other areas) good inventory and strong job markets. Remote workforce increases have fueled growth in secondary markets. Airlines adding routes in these markets make life easier for business travelers.
Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com®. It’s pretty much the Millennials who are looking at these markets because they offer inventory at the right price point, Vivas notes. Over the next few months I think inventory in these markets may start to go quickly as the Spring buying season begins. It’s a trend we saw begin last year and are now seeing the pace pick-up.
The fundamental data, realtor.com analyzes to determine the top 10 markets to watch is based on metro areas with the highest ratio of inbound searches compared to outbound searches on realtor.com.
Take Spokane, Washington for example. Some buyers are giving up on pricey markets like Seattle and Portland and heading to Spokane where the median listing price is $220,000 according to realtor.com . Compare it to Seattle where people are moving from with a median listing price of $675,000.
According to Spokane Realtor Melissa Dailey, Spokane is now home to several trendy, walkable and revitalized neighborhoods with good walkability and local shops. These include Perry District, Garland District and Downriver (includes Audubon park, Downriver golf course & Riverside State Park). Spokane now has so much to offer at a very affordable price. People are recognizing that, looking for homes here and then buying when they see what they can get for their money.
Out of area buyers are picking up some pretty good deals both in single family homes and rental units in Spokane. Take James Bulthuis, 31 an attorney from Seattle who recently purchased a 3800 square foot home on one-half acre in Belle Terre in South Spokane Valley. I had been trying to buy a 600 square foot condo in Seattle and kept getting out bid. I decided to look at Spokane where my girlfriend lives. I found I could afford to buy a really nice home with a great lifestyle and lower cost of living.” Bulthuis is working remotely for his Seattle law firm while developing the firm’s business in Spokane. It’s a one-hour flight to Seattle and I can connect to many destinations from the Spokane airport, he adds.
Tanya Moynihan, a property manager who lives with her fire fighter husband in Oakland, California purchased a three-unit rental property several years ago in Spokane.
I have family in Spokane, so I know the area. It just made perfect sense to us to buy a rental property there which will produce an income when my husband retires. In Oakland we could not afford anything like that. It’s been a great move for us financially. The couple paid in the low to mid- $100,000 range.
Realtor Dailey confirms that buying rental property in Spokane now makes good sense as an investment. “Our rents have been rising rapidly and owners of both single-family homes and rental property are seeing good rents and returns now.”
Head East to Portland, Maine to take in the vibrant dining and cultural scene where this small city situated on a peninsula in Casco Bay, offers an easy lifestyle minus the negatives of big city living. According to realtor.com the median listing price of a home in Portland is $325,000. Steeper than Spokane yet still within the affordability range.
Baby boomers like Roxanne and Donald Jones who bought 10 minutes outside of Portland proper less than two years ago are thrilled with Portland. We feel we have everything we need in this wonderfully compact city between great restaurants, theater and excellent health care with Maine Medical Center located in Portland. We’ve found it very enjoyable and manageable living here. Since we don’t have traffic I can make three trips into Portland in a day and it’s no big deal,” says Roxanne, a freelance medical writer who works from her home office.
In addition, the 1900 square foot condo they bought in an over-55 community for $295,000 is appreciating very nicely with a recent listing there priced at $405,000.
It’s not surprising cities in secondary markets like Spokane and Portland are fast becoming a popular choice for buyers wanting a nice home in a place with an attractive lifestyle. An added bonus– an affordable monthly mortgage.