Buyers show renewed interest in city living as vaccines bring hope

by Liz Hughes

For the first time since the pandemic began, more homeowners appear to be looking to move into cities, as new vaccines bring hope that urban living can return to normal after a year spent on ice as the virus raged. 

In the four weeks ending Feb. 21, the median home sale price in urban areas rose 15.9% nationwide year over year to $292,263, while it rose 15.5% to $332,291 for suburban homes and 14.3% to $284,593 for rural homes, according to a Redfin report

Growth in Houston home prices was among the slowest in the nation, up 6.1% to a median sales price of $570,721.

“For all the talk of an urban exodus, the housing market in cities is as hot as we’ve ever seen it, especially for single-family homes,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather in a press release. “There are plenty of buyers out there with deep pockets who are coming out ahead financially during the pandemic. They want a house with lots of space while they are still working from home, but they also want to live in a walkable area near urban amenities as shops and restaurants reopen. Those wealthy buyers are willing to pay high prices to have it all.”

The report also found that nationally, the price per square foot has grown fastest in urban areas since the beginning of February. The median price per square foot for homes in urban areas rose 17.9%, compared to 15.9% for suburban homes and 15.5% for rural homes. 

According to the report, the fast pace of price growth in urban areas indicates homebuyers are placing a premium on city living once again.

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