Housing in Brief: Remote Workers Driving Up Home Sale Prices?

Also, Moms 4 Housing welcomes first residents in Oakland.

(Photo by mastersenaiper/Pixabay)

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Report: Out of Town Buyers in Key Cities Have Nearly 30% More for Home Purchases Than Locals

Buyers moving from out of town in 2021 said they had way more cash on hand to purchase homes than locals in 42 major U.S. cities, according to a report from the real estate listing site Redfin. The report looked at 49 cities and found growing discrepancies as a result of high-income owners who are telecommuting due to the pandemic and can easily relocate. The highest discrepancy was in Nashville, where transplants had on average $736,900 to spend compared to $573,400 for locals. The report is based on saved searches by Redfin users, who enter their budget ranges, making it a definitely unscientific look. But the findings do align with increasing home prices in some cities, including Nashville, where prices rose 22.6% between 2020 and 2021, again according to Redfin. According to News 4 Nashville, homes in the city are only on the market for an average of 10 days with an average selling price of $410,000.

Redfin also found a handful of cities where locals have more assets for home purchases than people from out of town, most of which are in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose and Fremont.

“Moms 4 Housing” Home Welcomes New Residents

A foreclosed Oakland home that was the subject of a protest occupation by unhoused mothers two years ago has reopened as affordable housing, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The building, which was owned by speculators Wedgewood Partners, was sold to a community land trust and transferred to Moms 4 Housing in a deal brokered by Mayor Libby Schaaf. The home has welcomed its first residents, a 24-year-old mother and her 1-year-old son. Now dubbed “Mom’s House,” it will host five occupants at a time who are mothers at risk of chronic homelessness. The new residents will pay a third of their income toward rent and the building will include wraparound services such as therapy and financial planning according to the Chronicle.

The previous owner, Wedgewood, was sued by the California Attorney General’s office — a lawsuit unrelated to the Moms 4 Housing protest — for illegally evicting tenants after purchasing foreclosed properties.

Tenants in Corporate-Owned Buildings Plead Before U.S. Senate for Oversight

Seven tenants of corporate-owned properties testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Tuesday, asking for better oversight of corporate landlords that receive federal funding, NPR reports. The tenants are part of a group called “Renters Rising,” a national tenant association that is a project of the nonprofit Center for Popular Democracy. Tenants complained of retaliation, rent increases and deferred maintenance according to NPR. The presence of private equity and corporate landlords in the housing market increased after the 2008 recession when millions of homes were foreclosed upon. Tuesday’s hearing also comes as private businesses accounted for a growing share of home purchases during the pandemic, per a report on private equity in the housing market by Redfin.

This article is part of Backyard, a newsletter exploring scalable solutions to make housing fairer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable. Subscribe to our weekly Backyard newsletter.

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Roshan Abraham is Next City's housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities fellow. He is based in Queens. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.

Tags: real estatehomelessnessevictionsrenters rights

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