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Redfin and LinkedIn Reveal the 5 Best Emerging Tech Hubs for Software Engineers to Buy a Home

October 13 2019

Charlotte and Buffalo boast 4% job growth for engineers, who need to spend less than 20% of their income on housing

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2019 --  Charlotte, North Carolina and Buffalo, New York are among the best metro areas for software engineers to buy a home, according to a new analysis from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage, and LinkedIn, the employment-oriented social media platform. Both metros saw 4.1 percent year-over-year job growth in June for people in the field, and the typical software engineer would only need to spend 18.9 percent and 13.3 percent of their annual income, respectively, on housing. In comparison, the typical software engineer in San Francisco would need to spend 42.8 percent of their annual salary to afford a median-priced home.

The two metros are more affordable options than tech hubs like San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where despite generous salaries and job growth of roughly 3.5 percent year-over-year, sky-high housing costs make homeownership difficult for typical software engineers. The typical home in the San Francisco metro sold for more than $1.4 million in July, out of reach for someone earning $186,300, the median income for a software engineer in the Bay Area.

"Because homeownership in expensive places like San Francisco is no longer a realistic consideration even for many people in high-paying fields, smaller inland cities are becoming increasingly attractive to young, educated people looking to build a career and live comfortably," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "Grand Rapids and Columbus don't offer as many job opportunities or salaries as high as you'd find in San Francisco, but because housing and other costs are so much lower, skilled professionals can achieve a higher quality of life. Tech companies are following the talent by opening offices or offering the option for employees to work remotely—which is contributing to growth in job opportunities for people seeking affordable housing."

Redfin worked with LinkedIn to curate a list of places with emerging tech scenes. LinkedIn provided data on job growth and median total compensation. To determine whether a metro is affordable on a typical software engineer's income for that area, Redfin used the rule that housing is affordable when it costs less than 30 percent of gross income.

Based on those parameters, software engineers may want to consider a move to Charlotte, North Carolina or Buffalo, New York rather than Silicon Valley. Some other places to consider are Grand Rapids, Michigan, Colorado Springs and Columbus, Ohio, areas with 3-percent-plus job growth where the typical software engineer would need to spend 20 percent or less of their income on housing. Seattle, where home prices have more than doubled over the last seven years partly due to its growth as a tech hub, is still relatively affordable for people in the field. The typical Seattle software engineer would need to spend 20 percent of their earnings to buy a home in the metro, comparable to the share in Colorado Springs.

redfin and linkedin reveal 5 best emerging tech hubs software

To read the full report, including Redfin agent insights on what makes each metro an attractive place for software engineers to live and a list of LinkedIn job openings in each area, please visit:

About Redfin

RedfinRedfin 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 85 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has closed more than $85 billion in home sales.