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Homebuyers Flock to Spokane for Affordable Land and Growing Salaries

SEATTLE (STL.News) – (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Spokane, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Orlando are the metros most primed for growth over the next decade, according to a new analysis from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. As expensive coastal metros struggle to find solutions to rising housing costs, the four metros are already attracting out-of-town homebuyers and, thanks to the low cost of acquiring and developing land for new home construction, each is poised to attract homebuyers for years to come.

Spokane, Washington

Sales of new homes increased 37% in Spokane from Q4 of 2018 to Q4 of 2019 compared to only 5% growth in existing homes. The city is currently the most competitive housing market in the country with a Compete Score of 89. That’s in part thanks to significant homebuyer interest from out-of-towners—73% of Redfin searches for homes in Spokane come from homebuyers located outside the metro.

Due to low land acquisition and building costs, Spokane is well suited to absorb all of the potential new migrants. The cost of purchasing land to develop on is a major reason housing supply has lagged behind demand in big expensive cities. In Seattle, land comprises 42% of the value of the homes, but in Spokane, land comprises only 23% of the value of homes, making it harder for homebuilders to turn a profit on land in Seattle than in Spokane. Seattlites, who are used to a median home price of $570,000 will find Spokane homes extremely affordable, regardless of whether they are buying an existing home with a median price of $255,000 or a new home with a median price of $350,000.

“Tons of people are moving in from the coasts because Spokane is more affordable and less crowded,” said Redfin market manager Michelle Kendrick. “Spokane has all of the basics you would want in a city, but at a great price. It feels like we are in a construction boom. A lot of the new construction is happening on the outskirts of the city, which contributes to our version of traffic. To people from out of town the traffic is nothing, but if you have lived here a long time you do notice it. Job growth has also been a draw for out-of-towners. We have a new Amazon distribution center, the airport is expanding, and the medical industry is big and growing.”

Las Vegas, Nevada

In Las Vegas, home sales are growing at the rapid pace of 15.6%, with 47% of homebuyer interest coming from outside the metro. The primary source of out-of-town homebuyers is Los Angeles, where the median home price is $650,000 and land comprises about 61% of home values. In Las Vegas, homebuyers can purchase an existing home for $285,000 or a new home for $388,000. With land comprising only 25% of home values in Las Vegas, new construction is a profitable investment for developers.

“Las Vegas is a pretty competitive market, and I see both new homes and existing homes receiving multiple offers,” said Redfin agent Carol Vandenberg. “I see plenty of buyers from Los Angeles. They are used to the sunshine and the two cities are so connected.”

Charlotte, North Carolina

In Charlotte, home sales are growing at an annual pace of 14.5%. With 40% of search activity coming from outside of the metro, Charlotte—where household incomes are growing 5% annually and jobs grew 2.9% in 2019, well above the national rate of 1.4%—will continue to attract job seekers. Charlotte is well positioned to absorb growth given that land comprises only 28% of home values on average in the metro. Notably, Charlotte is home to one of 2019’s hottest neighborhoods in the country (Wildwood), and that neighborhood has a new housing development under construction.

Orlando, Florida

Jobs, median household income, home sales, and home prices have all been growing in Orlando, where inexpensive land—it comprises only 29% of home values—has also meant growth in new homes sales. Sales of new homes increased 21% in Orlando from Q4 of 2018 to Q4 of 2019 compared to only 5% growth in existing homes.

To read the full report, including research methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/booming-real-estate-markets.

About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered 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 90 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has helped customers buy or sell homes worth more than $115 billion.

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