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Towns With the Best Quality of Life

We are #12 only because of the higher cost of housing.

According to usnews.com, the best places to live in the U.S. for quality of life are:

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Boulder, Colorado
  3. San Jose, California
  4. Naples, Florida
  5. Trenton, New Jersey
  6. Madison, Wisconsin
  7. Boston, Mass
  8. Fort Collins, Colorado
  9. Reno, Nevada
  10. Portland, Maine
  11. Hartford, Conn
  12. San Diego, California
  13. Santa Barbara, California
  14. Santa Rosa, California
  15. Green Bay, Wisconsin
  16. Rochester, New York
  17. Boise, Idaho
  18. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  19. Sarasota, Florida
  20. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

https://realestate.usnews.com/places/rankings/best-places-to-live-for-quality-of-life

Ten Most Popular Markets

Their most popular markets are suburban areas that are 30 minutes from the nearest city center? Sounds like Carlsbad/Encinitas! From Zillow:

  • Zillow’s most popular market so far this year is Woodinville, Washington. Burke, Virginia and Highlands Ranch, Colorado round out the top three.
  • Every city in Zillow’s latest 10-most-popular-markets list is a suburban area roughly 30 minutes from the nearest city center. Home values are growing faster in each of these suburbs than in the principal cities in their metro areas.
  • Remote work is a key reason suburban home values are now growing faster than those in urban areas as home buyers are prioritizing space and affordability over a short commute.

Zillow’s most popular market of early 2022 is Woodinville, Washington, leading a list of fast-growing suburbs as the most in-demand places of the first three months of the year. Following close behind were Burke, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. area; Highlands Ranch, Colorado, outside of Denver; Westchase, Florida, near Tampa; and Edmonds, Washington, also in the Seattle metro.

The most popular markets so far this year paint a picture of how remote work has changed the U.S. housing landscape. Demand for suburban homes found an extra gear last summer, causing suburban home values to grow faster than home values in urban areas, a reversal from previous norms and from the first 15 months of the pandemic. Remote work is a driving force behind this shift, prompting home buyers to prioritize affordability and space over a short commute.

The suburbs that beat out all others to make the top 10 of Zillow’s most popular markets of Q1 are seeing home values grow faster on a quarterly basis than the principal city in their metro area, indicating stronger demand. Most of them have more expensive homes than their nearest major city, and several are significantly more expensive. Eight of the top 10 have a typical home value higher than their nearby principal city, and seven of those have a typical home value more than $150,000 higher.

Regionally, Havertown, Penn. outside of Philadelphia is Zillow’s most popular market in the Northeast, edging out four Boston suburbs: Billerica, Framingham, Waltham and Arlington. In the central region, Ballwin, Missouri,. is joined in the top five by Grand Rapids, Michigan, and three pricey Dallas suburbs: Coppell, Plano and Prosper. Denver suburbs dominated the mountain region, taking the top eight spots in Zillow’s rankings.

Zillow’s Top 10 Most Popular Markets of Q1 2022

  1. Woodinville, Washington (Seattle)
  2. Burke, Virginia (Washington, D.C.)
  3. Highlands Ranch, Colorado (Denver)
  4. Westchase, Florida (Tampa)
  5. Edmonds, Washington (Seattle)
  6. Yorba Linda, California (Los Angeles)
  7. Johns Creek, Georgia (Atlanta)
  8. Tustin, California (Los Angeles)
  9. Ballwin, Missouri (St. Louis)
  10. Golden, Colorado (Denver)

Emerging Housing Markets

Yuma beat out every town in San Diego County?

Less expensive cities with strong local economies climbed The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index in the first quarter, another sign that many home buyers are giving priority to affordability.

Fast-rising housing prices have pushed buyers from expensive coastal cities into cheaper housing markets in recent years. Expanded remote-work opportunities and a search for different lifestyles during the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated the trend.

“People are chasing affordability,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. In response to high housing prices and increased remote-work flexibility, he said, “people are reordering where they live.”

The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index identifies the top metro areas for home buyers seeking an appreciating housing market and lifestyle amenities.

The top-ranked markets in the first quarter had faster home sales, higher wages and shorter commute times than the market as a whole, said George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com. News Corp, parent of the Journal, operates Realtor.com.

The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index ranks the 300 biggest metro areas in the U.S. In addition to housing-market indicators, the index incorporates economic and lifestyle data, including real estate taxes, unemployment, wages, commute time and small-business loans.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/affordability-drives-home-buyer-activity-in-wsj-realtor-housing-index-11650974402

Earth Day – Climate Havens

If you’re worried about wildfires and earthquakes…..you can always move to Detroit!

Millions of Americans are living in communities with precarious climate conditions, in houses that feel overpriced. There is a solution for many of these people, though:

Move to one of the so-called climate havens.

Climate havens or climate destinations are situated in places that avoid the worst effects of natural disasters and have the infrastructure to support a larger population. Many of these legacy cities are located in the Northeast.

Jesse Keenan, associate professor of real estate at Tulane University, named the following cities as possible climate havens:

  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Rochester, New York

Anna Marandi, who served as the program manager of climate resilience and sustainability at the National League of Cities, added two other places to the safe haven list: Ann Arbor, Michigan and perhaps surprisingly, Orlando, Florida.

Orlando makes the cut, Marandi said, because the city has introduced measures to decarbonize. While the natural environment, such as being a noncoastal city, is an advantage, cities can “earn” the designation by working to provide benefits like affordable housing and being committed to economic sustainability.

“I see climate migration as an opportunity for these cities to avoid the mistakes of urban sprawl,” Marandi said. “They often have a vibrant, walkable downtown that might just need a little bit of revitalization.”

Keenan also stressed that climate haven cities need to help their own residents, which in turn will attract more climate migrants.

“This isn’t we’re going to build a community for tomorrow,” he said. “We’re going to build a community for today. And that’s going to be the foundation for the building of a community for tomorrow.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/21/climate-change-encourages-homeowners-to-reconsider-legacy-cities.html

Where to Move

While it is understandable why nobody wants to leave San Diego, some might!

Here are more ideas on where to go:

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/the-cheapest-metros-for-u-s-homebuyers/

https://edition.thrillist.com/s/underappreciated-american-cities-efff2ad8275f4c84

https://edition.thestreet.com/s/coolest-towns-retire-ef8d340b4d3f4d2c

https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-small-towns-in-america

https://www.farandwide.com/s/best-small-towns-united-states-e6a21b7c07fb4035

Or just check my history of suggestions here:

https://www.bubbleinfo.com/category/where-to-move/

Southern Arizona

I’ve been hoping to promote the best areas in nearby states for readers to consider for relocations, and have wanted to feature lower-priced homes in order to make the move really worth it.

Yesterday I spoke with Bill Ims, a former Carlsbad realtor and probably the nicest guy in the business. He and his wife moved to Green Valley, Arizona, and love it!

He has been selling homes there, and his latest listing is on the golf course for only $370,000!

https://www.coldwellbanker.com/property/1324-N-Paseo-de-Golf-Green-Valley-AZ-85614/120312733/detail

Green Valley is 20 miles south of Tucson and an easy drive from San Diego – tell him I sent you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Valley,_Arizona

 

San Diego is #1

San Francisco is no longer the nation’s least affordable metro area, being surpassed by San Diego, it’s neighborhood to the south. The latest OJO Labs unaffordability report saw San Diego bypass both San Francisco and Los Angeles to become the nation’s least affordable metro by comparing median home price to local incomes.

The median home sold price in San Diego climbed 14.3% in January to $764,000, bringing the city’s unaffordability score — a ratio of home sold price to median household income — to 8.1.

And despite San Francisco still boasting the most expensive housing stock of any metro in the U.S., a 4.2% home sold price decrease in January on an annual basis actually drove San Francisco’s unaffordability score below 8 for the first time since OJO Labs began tracking the data in July 2021. In January, San Francisco’s unaffordability score fell to 7.9, down from 9.2 last month.

Los Angeles; Mobile, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; and Boise, Idaho metro areas rounded out the top five least affordable metro areas in the U.S.

Unaffordability score is a ratio that’s derived from monthly median housing prices and median household income. The higher the score, the more unaffordable a metro area is for a household making the median income. Median home price data is drawn from local multiple listing service sold data and median household income is derived from 2016-19 census data.

https://email.ojo.com/san-diego-passes-san-francisco-as-nations-least-affordable-metro

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