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Home Sales Gain in Vacation Hotspots

A Redfin analysis of housing markets in vacation destinations has found that locales such as Lake Tahoe, Cape Cod, and the suburbs of Chicago and New York City are gaining in popularity, with homebuyers taking advantage of remote-work policies and recreation opportunities over living near an office. Redfin’s ranking is based on the year-over-year change in home prices, home sales, the share of homes that sold above their list price, the speed of home sales, and Redfin.com searches.

The vacation towns and suburbs heating up the most include El Dorado County, Calif.—an area that spans from the eastern outskirts of Sacramento to the southern part of Lake Tahoe; Santa Cruz County, Calif.—an area in close proximity to both Silicon Valley and San Francisco; Deschutes County, Ore.—home to Bend, Ore.; and Barnstable County, Mass.—home to Cape Cod.

Home prices in El Dorado County, Calif. had a median average of $592,500, increasing 36% year-over-year in January. According to Redfin, this market has grown more than any other U.S. county over the last year, and the median number of days on market fell 50 days from the year before.

“Parts of El Dorado County, like Lake Tahoe and the upscale community of El Dorado Hills, have been hot throughout the pandemic, partly thanks to remote work,” said local Redfin agent Ellie Ruiz Hitchcock. “About half of buyers in El Dorado Hills are coming from the Bay Area and half are locals, including people coming from neighboring Sacramento, who are upgrading their homes. Tech workers moving out of Silicon Valley are seeking larger homes, more overall space and simpler lifestyle at a fraction of the cost. Most homes in the area are receiving multiple offers.”

The Santa Cruz County region, popular with surfers, beachgoers and hikers, is close enough to Silicon Valley and San Francisco that a remote worker could drive into the office a few days a month. Though it’s the most expensive area in this ranking, with the typical home selling for $1 million, it remains a more affordable option than the $1.34 million median home sales price in San Francisco.

Suffolk County (Boston), the District of Columbia, and the counties that make up the New York City boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan are all among the counties cooling down the most. The typical home in all of those places sells for more than $600,000, nearly double the national median home sales price of $330,000. New York City and Washington, D.C. both top the list of places with the most Redfin.com users looking to leave for a different area.

“The housing market in New York City will come back, but it hasn’t come back yet,” said local Redfin agent Ken Wile. “It’s a good time to buy a condo or a co-op in Manhattan or Brooklyn, but it’s very difficult for sellers. A lot of people want to move out to the suburbs, but they don’t know what to do with their homes in the city. It’s not just that places aren’t selling; it’s also tough for homeowners to rent anything out for a reasonable price. Some owners are taking a loss because they can’t get enough rent money to cover expenses.”

Click here for more information on Redfin’s latest analysis.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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