Location, location, location—we’ve all heard the familiar real estate mantra. From the type of home to where it sits, buyers these days have specific nonnegotiables. Here’s a quick look at how today’s location trends in real estate are shaping up.
Hello, suburbs and 18-hour cities
It’s getting more expensive to live downtown, and Millennials are starting families—so we’re seeing an uptick in suburban markets, particularly those near major cities, with public transportation and plenty of walking space. That doesn’t mean, however, that major metropolitan areas are out. Younger buyers are looking for a happy medium between around-the-clock cities and sleepy suburbs, and urban planners are giving them just that in the form of “18-hour cities.” (Check out our article on the new “surban” trend in real estate.)
With the economy’s bounce-back over the past several years, new developments are ramping up in many markets—which means more accessible options for entry-level buyers. In fact, because starter homes are selling faster than middle- and upper-tier homes, new construction may be the best bet for first-time homebuyers.
Sales to international clients are on the rise, and savvy agents will understand their unique needs. Foreign buyers typically purchase homes with a 50 percent higher price point—most often in cash. People committing to an international relocation often have specific needs and desires. Listen intently to help match them with a perfect home.
The “Starbucks effect” on location trends in real estate
Although we don’t expect Trulia to add it as a search feature anytime soon, proximity to a coffee shop has a real and positive impact on a home’s value. We’re not sure if coffee shops are landing in up-and-coming neighborhoods, or if they’re actually improving their local communities, but one thing is certain: If there’s a coffee shop within walking distance, that’s a feature worth advertising. Incidentally, Whole Foods has an even more dramatic effect; homes near specialty grocers can list for as much as 17.5 percent or more.
Location trends in real estate certainly play a role in the “Can we afford it?” conversation— but not only regarding waterfront versus suburban sprawl. For example, an affordable home may come with higher commuting costs or utility bills. Helping clients think through what “affordable” actually means can help you gain referrals.