Urbanization, but only at the right price

From USA Today:

Home prices: Even midsize cities are getting pricey, leading some buyers to smaller markets

A couple of years ago, freshly-minted college graduates Jon and Samantha Reidy crisscrossed North Carolina in search of a place to settle and buy a house.

After hitting seven cities – including bustling millennial enclaves such as Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh – they decided that nearly all of those housing markets had gotten too expensive. So they picked under-the-radar Winston-Salem.

Last year, they bought a house there for $106,000, including repairs, and plan to stay in the area for decades. Jon is even hoping to convince his parents to move down from Agawam, Mass.

“We have no intention of leaving,” says the 24-year-old athletic trainer. Besides its mix of urban amenities and laid-back pace, “Winston was a place we could afford.”

The 50 percent runup in U.S. home prices since 2011 is reshuffling the pecking order of hot housing markets. While many midsize metro areas that had been affordable, up-and-coming alternatives – such as Kansas City, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; Raleigh; and Salt Lake City – are still coveted by buyers, their sales are declining or increasing more slowly amid sharply rising prices and shrinking supplies.

Meanwhile, many smaller, more affordable markets – such as Boise, Idaho; Dayton, Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina; and Winston-Salem – are benefiting from an influx of new residents and home sales that continue to climb.

“Even the second-tier markets are getting a little too pricey for a lot of residents,” economist Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics says. “Home prices are not rising as rapidly in the (third-tier) markets … and if you can get a good job there you may find a better quality of life.”

By contrast, many smaller cities have a healthier balance of supply and demand, as well as lower prices. In third-tier markets, ranked 51 to 100 by population, prices rose 6.4 percent to $246,000 in the first quarter from a year earlier – below the U.S. median of $264,000 – and sales were up about 1 percent, in line with the national average.

Now, however, some third-tier metro areas are getting pricier as they draw more residents. In Boise, a tech hub that has fast become a hip, more affordable alternative to larger cities such as Seattle and Portland, Oregon, the median house price was up 18.4 percent early this year at $255,000. In Aida County, which includes, Boise, the median was $324,000.

Yet home sales were up 23 percent in 2017 and 2 percent the first half of this year despite historically low supplies, according to Moodys and Boise Regional Realtors.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Urbanization, but only at the right price

  1. dentss dunnigan says:


  2. Juice Box says:

    re: “Jon is even hoping to convince his parents to move down from Agawam, Mass”

    I hope his parents like diversity. Besides the low cost of housing, they might be shocked to see on the streets Winston-Salem every other person is a person of color since there are virtually none in Agawam, Mass.

    By the way media housing prices in Agawam Mass and Winston-Salem NC are aren’t all that different.

  3. Fast Eddie says:

    Urban amenities to go with those walkable down towns, it’s so comedic. I got to the point where they said, “Dayton, Ohio” and I didn’t know if I should laugh or wretch.

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I don’t know what people are thinking, but to expect to find 100,000 dollar homes in places you can actually find a decent paying job is wishful thinking. It’s like hitting the lottery.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Think about it. If that market is supporting 100,000 dollar homes, what are they making?

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Pretty dead on. Good read.

    “To be fair, we have seen China emerge as a global leader on certain issues — such as climate — and, in recent months, President Xi Jinping has spoken consistently about China assuming a larger role in world affairs. In other areas, however, particularly those tied to economic and trade policy, the rhetoric continues to surpass the policies.

    In part, it was this disconnect between words and reality that gave Trump his political resonance in the U.S. China is a great power. China has risen and, in so doing, has lifted 800 million people out of poverty. But, if China doesn’t change its approach to economic competition, I fear that today’s trade war will be nothing compared to the heightened tensions to come. Frankly, our domestic political system will demand action and President Trump will look like the mild first incarnation of a trend rather than an outlier.”


  7. Mike S says:

    Imagine buying a house for $100K?

  8. JCer says:

    In these parts, 100k is a kitchen or basement renovation. Not a home purchase.

  9. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    Just because you live in a 100k home doesn’t mean you can’t commute to a better paying area.

  10. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    China a world leader on issues like Climate? By leader, do we mean they lead the world in not caring?

  11. 1987 Condo says:

    When does some fund come in and buy large swaths of East Orange or Irvington to redevelop?

  12. Juice Box says:

    Blue Ribbon – They care, they have a program “One Belt, One Road” and are funding the construction of new coal fired power plants around the world.

  13. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    When does some fund come in and buy large swaths of East Orange or Irvington to redevelop?

    They did it in New Brunswick, but they all went the eminent domain route.

  14. Juice Box says:

    They are gentrifying East Orange now, around the train station for starters.

    This lot will have 300 units built on it, 17 story building you can walk to the station in a few minutes. “The Station at Brick Church”


  15. 1987 Condo says:

    “Brick Church”..bought my Technics receiver there….

  16. Nomad says:

    Pic of Station at Brick Church, if accurate very impressive.


    At what point would one be able to buy SFH in area and have economic and physical safety? Would those moving in w kids ever do public or is it going to be like the PRM and private mostly.

  17. xolepa says:

    Buying a house for $100K?

    Do it all the time.

    As long as the neighborhood is decent, it will command good rents. My last HotPads listing got 50+ responses in two days.

    This is far west Jersey guys, and it’s not PBurg

  18. Libturd says:

    Time to brush off that DOW 26K hat again!

  19. JCer says:

    East Orange is scary in a life after people kind of way. Realistically speaking the land has a lot of value but urban blight, crime, and poor government are a tough hill to climb. Taxes are high, services non-existent, criminality abounds. If West Orange on the border seems to be sinking I don’t see EO becoming desirable again. In reality Orange and even West Orange are due for a resurgence, poor government and high taxes are the issue. If you have to pay high taxes for no services it makes revitalization difficult, also the government needs to use eminent domain on under utilized properties.

  20. Topper says:

    Company Is Offering ‘Fur-ternity Leave’ for New Pet Owners

    Oh boy … another employer mandate coming. Fur-/paw-ternity leave. You have got to be kidding!

    “An Italian company allowed a woman last year to take paid time off when her dog became sick. And employees at mParticle, a data company in New York, are offered “paw-ternity leave” — two weeks of paid time off for those who adopt a rescue dog or get an exotic pet, such as an iguana.”

    Iguana – ladies and gentlemen – iguana! That pet peac*ck on Southwest doesn’t seem all that bizarre any more.

    After all the mandates, including the recent bereavement mentioned here, one can game the system to have paid leave for half the work year. What’s next … pre-op gender identification/reassignment leave? Pet vaccination day off? Spring cleaning mental leave? Yeah … wish I could come up with some witty ones … but got to run. Not to mention the time at work spent on Superbowl picks/betting; NCAA brackets; post-Superbowl hangover day; fantasy leagues; Prime day shopping; NJRE posting, checking our phones (apparently 150+ times/day on average), etc. – it’s wonder when work gets done. And, we wonder why the productivity numbers (and associated wages) aren’t increasing? Better increase the tariffs!

    Some of the stuff in the article … I could easily have been reading the Onion.

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    <I<(Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 hit an all-time intraday high on Tuesday, the same day it equaled its longest-ever bull-market run, as U.S. stocks rose on encouraging earnings reports and hopes that the United States and China could resolve their tariff dispute.

    GPD for Q3 will come in at around 4.3%.

    Thank you, President Trump!

  22. Nwnj says:

    Manafort will walk.

  23. Yo! says:

    Toll Brothers CEO this morning on its condo business: “We continue to perform very well, beyond expectations in New Jersey, which for us is one major new building in Hoboken and another in Jersey City. That market is now about $$1,000 per square foot off the water and as high as $1,200 or $1,400 a square foot on the water.”

    TOL stock up 14% today.

  24. Juice Box says:

    2.5 Million for a 3br Hoboken condo in a Toll building. Glad I left when I did.

  25. Juice Box says:

    It looks like @nytimes has confirmed @CNN’s report that the Michael Cohen plea deal does not involve cooperation.

  26. yome says:

    Manafort guilty on 8 of 18 counts. None about collusion

  27. The Great Pumpkin says:

    What a mess. That shiny lone star is starting to lose its luster. Can’t wait to see what other problems start coming down the line. Still want to move to Texas?

    Texas saved billions cutting special education. Now the bill comes due – Bloomberg

  28. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Is this a shiny example of how good the education system is in Texas?

  29. Yo! says:

    What will cause Hudson County home prices to crash? Haters have been calling a peak for many decades, how could New haters be right?

  30. 3b says:

    If Hudson co continues to do well than an argument can be made the suburbs will continue to languish.

  31. The Great Pumpkin says:

    They both can do well…

    3b says:
    August 21, 2018 at 7:48 pm
    If Hudson co continues to do well than an argument can be made the suburbs will continue to languish.

  32. The Great Pumpkin says:


    How’s the m3 holding up maintenance wise? I was thinking of buying a used 2011 m3 with the v8 to experience it. Since there will never be another v8 m3.

  33. ExEssex says:

    They make great cars! Go for it.

  34. ExEssex says:

    Cars are no longer just a means of transportation. In a time when rents are soaring and housing prices are on the climb, they’re also doubling as a home.

    Look no further than California, where the median price for a home is at a record high of $600,000 and sleeping in cars is a common occurrence. A recent Slate article explored the rising epidemic on America’s West Coast and found that 15,000 people live in cars, vans, and RVs in Los Angeles alone, citing the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s not counting car dwellers in other expensive California cities, like San Diego and San Francisco.

    The problem has become so severe that local governments are trying to “tighten parking restrictions or ban vehicle residency,” writes Slate reporter Amy Pollard. These crackdowns have led to the rise of safe parking programs. Run by nonprofits and some city governments, they try to accommodate vehicle residents with safety rules and regulations, according to Slate.

  35. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m thinking about pulling the trigger. Plan on getting the all new awd m3 (sucks, new designed m3 only comes in automatic, but awd is priceless…parking lots when it snows!!) when it comes out in 2020. So going to maybe give it a go in the time being.

  36. The Great Pumpkin says:
  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Cali coast is beautiful. These people have it made if they get to experience that rent free.

    ExEssex says:
    August 21, 2018 at 9:50 pm
    Cars are no longer just a means of transportation. In a time when rents are soaring and housing prices are on the climb, they’re also doubling as a home.

  38. chicagofinance says:

    In the mouth more consistently effective than in the temple.

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    August 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm
    I’m thinking about pulling the trigger.

  39. joyce says:


    Yo! says:
    August 21, 2018 at 7:34 pm
    What will cause Hudson County home prices to crash? Haters have been calling a peak for many decades, how could New haters be right?

  40. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Here’s where renters can find affordable homes to buy – Business Insider

  41. The Great Pumpkin says:

    California Cannabis Goes Luxury, Plans Appellations Just Like Wine – Forbes Magazine

Comments are closed.