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Redfin Ranks the Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2019

January 17 2020

Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, MI; Tacoma, WA; Minneapolis and the Bay Area Rank Highest for the Year

SEATTLE -- Bay Area neighborhood White Oaks is the most competitive neighborhood of the year for homebuyers, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Alger Heights in Grand Rapids, MI and East Arlington in Boston rounded out the top three competitive neighborhoods.

"While neighborhoods in the Bay Area and Boston are still among the most competitive in the country, robust competition for homes in Grand Rapids, Minneapolis and Tacoma neighborhoods signals the desirability of more affordable areas," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "An influx of buyers from more expensive neighborhoods contributes to competition in these affordable neighborhoods, especially because they can make higher offers than local residents when they sell their previous homes."

The report is based on 2019 rankings from Redfin's Compete Score, which uses a combination of proprietary Redfin data and data from local multiple listing services to determine how difficult it is for buyers to win a home in individual neighborhoods and cities.

Below are the most competitive U.S. neighborhoods based on an average of monthly stats from January through November 2019.

redfin ranks most competitive neighborhoods 2019

Of the 10 Bay Area neighborhoods among the most competitive in the country, half are in Oakland. Although the median sale price in Oakland is more than double the national median—$720,000 versus $312,000 for the typical home in the U.S. in November—it's still well below that of San Francisco ($1.4 million) and San Jose ($1.1 million).

Oakland Redfin agent Katy Polvorosa said the area has been particularly hot this year, partly because it's more affordable than neighboring parts of the Bay Area.

"I've heard a lot of people say the Bay Area housing market is cooling this year, but I'm seeing the opposite in Oakland," Polvorosa said. "I'm writing offers that are seeing aggressive competition. Homes that are move-in ready and priced right typically receive offers within 12 to 14 days. The Oakland market is so hot that sellers are still expecting and receiving offers that waive contingencies."

Although the Bay Area is still home to plenty of competitive neighborhoods, homebuyers are gravitating toward more affordable inland metros as housing markets in coastal job centers have become more expensive. In the third quarter of 2019, 26% of Redfin.com home searchers looked to move to another metro area, with affordable places like Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas as popular destinations.

The appearance of two neighborhoods in Grand Rapids on this year's ranking of most competitive neighborhoods is an example of the trend of migration away from more expensive metros.

"Affordability plus quality of life are big draws to the Grand Rapids area. I've worked with buyers from Chicago, California, Hawaii and other expensive parts of the country who are looking here because they can get so much more bang for their buck," said local Redfin agent Shellie Silva, who moved to Grand Rapids from San Diego three years ago. "Homes in neighborhoods with price points below $275,000, like Alger Heights and Creston, are prone to bidding wars and they tend to sell quickly because they're even more affordable that some other parts of Grand Rapids."

In Alger Heights, nearly 67% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home was on the market for one week before going under contract so far this year. And in Creston, 59.3% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home went under contract in just six days.

To read the full report, including methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/most-competitive-neighborhoods-2019.

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 90 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has helped customers buy or sell homes worth more than $85 billion.