Cities or Suburbs? Homebuyers Will Find Less Competition in a Surprising Place

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When you're on the hunt for a home, one of the questions that often pops up is: City or suburb? Everyone has their personal preferences, but this new data from Zillow might just change your mind.

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According to the real estate platform, since July 2021, suburban home values have been increasing faster than those in cities. This indicates that there is fiercer competition and stronger demand in the suburbs. In other words, it may be easier for homebuyers to seek out property in the city for the first time since the Great Recession.

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"That's not to say shopping for a home in the city will be a leisurely affair, but any sliver of opportunity for buyers is welcome in this market," added Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud.

On average, the value of a home in the suburbs increased $66,490 over the past year. As for cities, the average home value increased $61,671 — which is still growth, but less so than in the suburbs. Interestingly, the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that remote work is the primary cause for over half of the home price increases in the United States. A desire for more indoor and outdoor space could also be a culprit.

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In San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Columbus, suburban home values were seen to quickly increase when compared to urban home prices in 2021. In a sizeable real estate market like New York City, the year-over-year gains showcase the same trend: a $55,526 increase for urban homes and $65,936 increase for suburban homes. In Los Angeles, the typical urban home increased $137,475 in price, while $169,508 is the year-over-year gain for the average home in the suburbs.

Of course, all of this depends on exactly what market you're in. So if you're considering buying a home in the near future, you shouldn't automatically assume that there is less competition for suburban homes. Instead, take a close look at the numbers for cities and suburbs in your area.

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