Half of the neighborhoods with the most competitive housing markets of the year are in the Bay Area, but places in Grand Rapids, MI; Tacoma, WA and Minneapolis also make appearances.
Just 12% percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their homebuying customers nationwide faced a bidding war from January through November 2019, down from 48% in 2018 and 53% in 2017. Although bidding wars have declined on a national level, in the Bay Area, home to half of the 20 most competitive neighborhoods of 2019, it can still be difficult for buyers to win homes. The Boston metro also stands out, with four of the top 20 most competitive neighborhoods, followed by Grand Rapids and Washington D.C., with two apiece. Suburbs of Minneapolis and Seattle (Brooklyn Park and Tacoma) each have one neighborhood on the list.
That’s according to 2019 rankings from Redfin’s Compete Score, which uses data on the number of competing offers, the number of waived contingencies, how quickly homes go under contract and how much above list price they sell for to determine how difficult it is for buyers to win a home in individual neighborhoods and cities. Each of the top 20 neighborhoods score above 90, which means most homes get multiple offers, often with waived contingencies. In the Bay Area’s White Oaks, for instance, more than 72% of homes sold for above list price from January through November 2019 and the typical home found a buyer in 12 days.
“While neighborhoods in the Bay Area and Boston are still among the most competitive in the country, robust competition for homes in neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, Minneapolis and Tacoma signals the desirability of more affordable areas,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “An influx of buyers from more expensive neighborhoods contributes to competition in these affordable neighborhoods, especially if they can make higher offers than local residents when they sell their previous homes.”
The list below ranks the most competitive U.S. neighborhoods based on an average of monthly stats from January through November 2019.
|Housing market stats for the 20 most competitive neighborhoods in the U.S.|
|Neighborhood||City||Metro area||Compete score||Sale-to-list price ratio||Median days on market||Share of homes sold above list price||Median sale price: neighborhood (Nov. 2019)||Median sale price: metro area (Nov. 2019)|
|White Oaks||San Carlos, CA||San Jose||95.5||105.9%||12||72.2%||$1,835,000||$1,081,500|
|Alger Heights||Grand Rapids, MI||Grand Rapids||95.3||102.9%||7||66.9%||$182,000||$207,500|
|East Arlington||Arlington, MA||Boston||95.1||103.6%||9||67.4%||$770,000||$490,000|
|Glenview||Oakland, CA||San Jose||95.0||125.2%||14||84.7%||$1,170,000||$1,081,500|
|Brattle Station||Arlington, MA||Boston||94.7||103.8%||8||61.2%||$693,000||$490,000|
|Creston||Grand Rapids, MI||Grand Rapids||94.5||102.0%||6||59.3%||$169,000||$207,500|
|AU Park/Friendship Heights||Washington, DC||Washington, D.C.||94.2||103.6%||7||57.8%||$1,100,000||$414,700|
|Upper Rockridge||Oakland, CA||San Jose||93.8||115.0%||15||77.8%||$1,821,000||$1,081,500|
|Mission Dolores||San Francisco, CA||San Jose||93.6||114.3%||15||82.3%||$1,660,000||$1,081,500|
|Bushrod||Oakland, CA||San Jose||93.6||119.4%||15||86.1%||$950,000||$1,081,500|
|Berkeley Hills||Berkeley, CA||San Jose||93.5||116.7%||16||84.4%||$1,414,000||$1,081,500|
|Bay Farm Island||Alameda, CA||San Jose||93.5||105.8%||16||75.1%||$1,058,000||$1,081,500|
|Arlington Center||Arlington, MA||Boston||93.5||103.2%||10||59.4%||$802,000||$490,000|
|Beresford Park||San Mateo, CA||San Jose||93.3||105.3%||13||74.8%||$1,675,000||$1,081,500|
|Piedmont Avenue||Oakland, CA||San Jose||93.3||110.3%||15||74.5%||$750,000||$1,081,500|
|Hartkopf||Brooklyn Park, MN||Minneapolis||93.2||102.6%||10||65.1%||$223,000||$280,000|
|Fairlington||Arlington, VA||Washington, D.C.||93.0||101.8%||7||59.1%||$485,000||$414,700|
|Northwest Landing||DuPont, WA||Seattle||92.8||101.7%||4||50.5%||$365,000||$557,000|
|North Los Altos||Los Altos, CA||San Jose||92.7||103.3%||12||60.1%||$3,173,000||$1,081,500|
Of the 10 Bay Area neighborhoods among the most competitive in the country, half are in Oakland. Although the median sale price in Oakland is more than double the national median—$720,000 versus $312,000 for the typical home in the U.S. in November—it’s still well below that of San Francisco ($1.4 million) and San Jose ($1.1 million).
Oakland Redfin agent Katy Polvorosa said the area has been particularly hot this year, partly because it’s more affordable than neighboring parts of the Bay Area. .
“I’ve heard a lot of people say the Bay Area housing market is cooling this year, but I’m seeing the opposite in Oakland,” Polvorosa said. “I’m writing offers that are seeing aggressive competition. Homes that are move-in ready and priced right typically receive offers within 12 to 14 days. The Oakland market is so hot that sellers are still expecting and receiving offers that waive contingencies.”
Although the Bay Area is still home to plenty of competitive neighborhoods, homebuyers are gravitating toward more affordable inland metros as housing markets in coastal job centers have become more expensive. In the third quarter of 2019, 26% of Redfin.com home searchers looked to move to another metro area, with affordable places like Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas as popular destinations.
The appearance of two neighborhoods in Grand Rapids on this year’s ranking of most competitive neighborhoods is an example of the trend of migration away from more expensive metros.
“Affordability plus quality of life are big draws to the Grand Rapids area. I’ve worked with buyers from Chicago, California, Hawaii and other expensive parts of the country who are looking here because they can get so much more bang for their buck,” said local Redfin agent Shellie Silva, who moved to Grand Rapids from San Diego three years ago. “Homes in neighborhoods with price points below $275,000, like Alger Heights and Creston, are prone to bidding wars and they tend to sell quickly because they’re even more affordable that some other parts of Grand Rapids.”
In Alger Heights, nearly 67% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home was on the market for one week before going under contract so far this year. And in Creston, 59.3% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home went under contract in just six days.
Compete Score rates how difficult it is to win a home in an area. Using a combination of Redfin data and data from the multiple listing services (MLS), Compete Score is primarily calculated based on four inputs: number of competing offers, waived contingencies, sale to list ratio, and number of days on market. Here’s more on Compete Score.
The rankings for most competitive neighborhoods include neighborhoods with at least 50 home sales from January through November 2019 for which Redfin has Compete Score data. The rankings in this report reflect an average of monthly stats from January through November 2019.
Some neighborhoods, including those in New York City, are excluded from this report because multiple-listing data is unavailable for many transactions there.