Redfin lists 2021’s hottest neighborhoods

Remote work is allowing Americans to migrate into affordable homes in vacation towns and suburbs outside major coastal cities — places that offer the space and solitude they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new Redfin report.

And just where are Americans going? Based on October 2020 data, the residential real estate fintech found that California’s Lake Tahoe (zip code:96145) emerged as the favorite location for homebuyers migrating out of large metros.

Year-over-year (YoY), the median sale price in the area increased 28%, to $945,000; median days on market fell 25 days to 48 days; home sales increased 87%; and the number of median views per listing was up 280%. The share of homes that sold above list price was 36%.

According to the report, these hot new housing destinations are drawing interest because “coastal cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia offer fewer benefits during the pandemic.” Indeed. The analysis and ranking shows that these locales all have one thing in common: they are far from crowded, costly cities.

Each place on this year’s list is located outside, but within driving distance of at least one of the following coastal hubs: New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Most of the top 10 neighborhoods “have seen double-digit growth in home sales and housing values over the past year, and most are relatively affordable,” analysts wrote, with a median home price below the national level of $336,000. 

Redfin also ranked U.S. zip codes by YoY growth in listing views on and Redfin Compete Score, to measure buyer competition based on days on market, share of homes that sold above their listing prices, and sale-to-list price ratios.

“A handful of places on the top 10 list, including California’s Lake Tahoe and the Lakes Region of New Hampshire were already popular vacation getaways that are now attracting affluent city dwellers,” according to the report. “Other locations in the ranking, such as Mountain House, California, and Washington Township, NJ, lure families who want backyards and extra bedrooms relatively close to major metropolitan areas.”

“Remote work is allowing Americans to live where they actually want to live. People are no longer tied to the cities where their offices are located,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist. “Some folks are buying second homes in resort towns while others are moving to family-friendly suburbs.”

The pandemic eventually will end, but Fairweather says suburbs and vacation towns will likely remain popular among homebuyers. Redfin’s 10 hottest neighborhoods for 2021 in each metro area are:

  1. Lake Tahoe, CA (zip code:96145), median sale price $945,000 (+28%) 
  2. Chester/Andover, VT (zip code: 05143), median sale price$281,250 (+34%)
  3. Big Bear, CA (zip code: 92386), median sale price $220,000 (+9%)
  4. Stratford, NJ (zip code: 08084) median sale price $200,500 (+8%)
  5. Sebago Lake, ME (zip code: 04084), median sale price $324,895 (+18%)
  6. Lakes Region, NH (zip code: 03253), median sale price $500,000 (+33%)
  7. Fall River, MA (zip code: 02723), median sale price $315,000 (+17%)
  8. Somerdale, NJ (zip code: 08083), median sale price $220,000 (+25%)
  9. Washington Township, NJ (zip code: 08012), median sale price $215,000 (+14%)
  10. Mountain House, CA (zip code: 95391), median sale price $712,500 (+23%)

Koch Real Estate invests $32M in Ladder Capital Corp

Ladder Capital Corp announced that an affiliate of Koch Real Estate Investments, LLC has made a long-term $32 million investment in Ladder’s common equity, which led to Ladder’s issuance of 4 million shares.

Ladder is a New York-based $6 billion-asset internally managed commercial real estate (CRE) investment trust (REIT) that originates senior first mortgage fixed and floating rate loans and invests in securities secured by first mortgage loans on diverse real estate-related assets.

The company’s investments focus on investment grade securities secured by first mortgage loans on CRE collateral.

The issuance falls under a strategic financing agreement reached in April 2020 between the two companies, in which Koch agreed to provide Ladder with $206.4 million in senior secured financing to fund transitional and land loans.

“We’re pleased to have a premier investor like Koch Real Estate Investments as a new long-term equity investor in Ladder,” said Brian Harris, Ladder’s CEO.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Koch invests in risk-adjusted capital deployment into real estate asset growth and improvements that since its founding in 2003 reportedly amount to nearly $120 billion.

“We respect Ladder’s careful risk management and credit culture. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ladder management kept its word, taking the right steps to protect Ladder’s shareholders, and positioned the company to capitalize on the expected dislocation in the commercial real estate sector over the next few years,” explained Jake Francis, president of Koch Real Estate Investments. “Exercising our investment option in Ladder was an easy choice.”

Trellis@Colter offers down payment assistance programs

Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit homebuilder Trellis@Colter is collaborating with Arboles Home Mortgage, LLC and NeighborWorks America to make homeownership affordable for more Arizonian buyers.

NeighborWorks America has provided Arboles (the preferred lender for Trellis@Colter) with funds to provide six homebuyers with $7,500 in down payment assistance (DPA).

To purchase Trellis@Colter townhomes starting at $279,000, buyers need a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the sales price for Federal Housing Administration loans and 3% of the sales price for conventional loans. As a result, the minimum down payment amounts to $9,765 and $8,370, respectively, the company said.

The new, modern townhomes of Trellis@Colter are already zoned as “workforce housing,” making them available to those in lower income brackets, who now also have access to at least two DPA programs.

Another program available in the area is Arizona’s IDA Home Plus Mortgage, which provides an embedded DPA of up to 5% of the loan amount to be used toward the down payment and closing costs,” which also covers some of the other remaining closing costs.

By using DPA programs, “homebuyers can pay as little as 1% of the sales price out-of-pocket,” the nonprofit said, freeing up money “to buy down the mortgage interest rate, thus making monthly payments more affordable and living in the Trellis@Colter townhomes even more sustainable.”

To qualify for the Trellis@Colter DPA program homebuyers may have a maximum annual income is $93,350 and up to $109,965 for the Arizona IDA’s Home Plus program.  All borrowers also must have a minimum representative credit score of 640. 

All homes feature new technologies, such as WIFI-enabled multi-platforms, advanced framing techniques that maximize insulation, smart water devices, and an energy efficiency built-in line with a 65 HERS score in overall home efficiency that lowers energy costs.

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