Prices of urban single-family homes are rising nearly 20% year over year, faster than any other type of home. But this year’s hot housing market doesn’t discriminate: Urban condo sales are up nearly 30% year over year, more than any other home type.
Key takeaways from this analysis, which looks at the housing market divided into five categories (urban single-family homes, suburban single-family homes, rural single-family homes, urban condos, suburban condos) during the 12 weeks ending April 4:
- Prices of urban single-family homes increased nearly 20% year over year, outpacing price growth rates for every other home category, a signal that buyers are searching for spacious homes near city amenities as vaccines roll out.
- Online listings of homes in large metros saw a 62% year-over-year increase in pageviews, bigger than the increases for homes in small towns and rural areas, another suggestion that buyers are returning to the city.
- Single-family homes sold faster than condos in all neighborhood types, indicating that buyers are clamoring for relatively large, private homes.
- Urban condos sales were up nearly 30% year over year, a bigger increase than any other home category, signaling that the condo market is recovering after plummeting last summer.
The median sale price of single-family homes in urban neighborhoods is up 19.4% year over year to $286,000, the biggest increase on record and a bigger price gain than any other category of home.
Suburban single-family homes saw the next-biggest price gain, with a 16.7% year-over-year increase to $358,000, followed by rural single-family homes (15.2% increase to $294,000).
Price growth was smaller but still significant for condos in both urban and suburban areas. The typical condo in a suburban area sold for $234,000, a 10.6% year-over-year increase, followed by urban condos (5.8% increase to $341,000). Urban condos have a higher median sale price than urban or rural single-family homes because they have a median price per square foot of $315, nearly double that of all the other categories.
The fact that prices are growing faster for single-family homes than for condos in all types of neighborhoods indicates that many buyers in the pandemic era have a strong preference for self-contained homes without shared walls. Price growth for rural single-family homes outpaced all other home types from the beginning of the pandemic through the end of 2020, when price growth for urban single-family homes surpassed its rural counterpart.
Urban single-family homes are currently seeing the fastest price growth partly because they offer the best of both worlds for many buyers, especially with the end of the pandemic in sight.
“Now that Americans have had a year to consider what the pandemic and its aftermath mean for their lifestyles, we’re seeing a lasting preference for single-family homes—but rural and suburban settings are no longer as popular as they were at the start of the pandemic,” said Redfin economist Taylor Marr. “Many homebuyers are still prioritizing features that were desirable at the beginning of the pandemic, like space for a home office or a big backyard, partly because many people plan to continue working from home. But as people venture out of their homes more often, they’re rediscovering the advantages of living in a city. People want to continue barbecuing in the backyard, but they also want the option of turning off the grill and walking to their local pizza place.”
The popularity of homes in urban areas, particularly condos, plummeted last spring and summer as remote workers sought spacious homes with big yards, which tend to be more affordable in rural and suburban areas. Prices of urban condos dropped 5.1% year over year during the 12 weeks ending July 27, 2020, the only home category to see prices drop during the pandemic. Prices for urban single-family homes were flat over that time period, and prices rose 4% year over year for rural single-family homes.
Housing market data: Single-family homes and condos, urban/suburban/rural, 12 weeks ending April 4
|Urban single-family homes||Suburban single-family homes||Rural single-family homes||Urban condos||Suburban condos|
|Median sale price, YoY||19.4%||16.7%||15.2%||5.8%||10.6%|
|Median sale price||$285,631||$357,625||$293,971||$340,571||$233,993|
|Median price per square foot||$173||$174||$151||$315||$192|
|Median price per square foot, YoY||19%||16.8%||15%||5.3%||12.5%|
|Number of homes sold, YoY||12.2%||7.1%||7.4%||29.9%||22.8%|
|All homes for sale, YoY||-32.6%||-44.9%||-44.4%||-2%||-27%|
|New listings, YoY||1.1%||-4.5%||0%||21.9%||6.3%|
|Median days on market||29||25||38||57||38|
|Median days on market, YoY||-15||-23||-32||-7||-10|
|Share of homes off market in two weeks||54.1%||57.5%||52.4%||40.9%||46.8%|
Pageviews of homes in large metros are on the upswing, signaling a return to the city
Redfin.com pageviews of homes in metro areas with a population of more than 1 million—which include both urban and suburban neighborhoods—increased 62% year over year in March. That’s a bigger increase than the 30% gain for small towns and the 18% increase for rural areas. The fact that homebuyer interest in large metros is accelerating while it’s decelerating in rural areas and small towns suggests the pandemic-driven bump in demand for rural properties has peaked and buyers are returning to the city.
The year-over-year jump in pageviews for large metros is likely exaggerated because March marks one year since the pandemic hit the U.S. Last March, views of homes in that type of area dropped significantly as cities went under lockdown and buyers turned toward smaller towns.
Single-family homes are selling faster than condos
Another indicator of the hot single-family housing market: Single-family homes in all neighborhood types are selling faster than condos, and selling significantly faster than they were a year ago. The typical suburban single-family home spent 25 days on the market before going under contract during the 12 weeks ending April 4. Urban single-family homes are selling nearly as fast, with a median of 29 days on the market before going under contract.
Next come rural single-family homes and suburban condos, each with a median of 38 days on the market, followed by urban condos (57 days).
Homes in all categories are selling significantly faster than they were a year ago, led by rural single-family homes, which are selling 32 days faster than last year. The increased speed for rural properties is reflective of the pandemic-driven surge in demand for spacious homes outside city centers: In the beginning of 2020, pre-pandemic, homes in rural areas sat on the market longer because fewer buyers were interested in living in far-flung areas with long commutes to the office.
Suburban single-family homes are selling 23 days faster than last year, and urban single-family homes are selling 15 days faster. They’re followed by suburban condos (10 days faster) and urban condos (7 days faster).
More than half of single-family homes in all neighborhood types are going under contract in less than two weeks. That’s a bigger share than condos, but those are also selling quickly: More than 40% of condos in all neighborhood types are going under contract in less than two weeks.
Condos are picking up in popularity from a pandemic-driven plunge, even with the outsized popularity of single-family homes
Condo sales are picking up more than sales of single-family homes. The number of urban condos sold was up 29.9% year over year during the 12 weeks ending April 4, the biggest gain on record and a bigger increase than any other home category. It’s followed by suburban condos (22.8%).
The uptick in condo sales is a sign that the condo market is recovering after plummeting with the onset of the pandemic. During the 12 weeks ending June 29, 2020, sales of urban condos reached a record low, down 44.9% year over year. Sales of suburban condos dipped nearly as much, dropping 42.3%.
“A major reason for condos coming back is their relative affordability and the fact that a lot of homebuyers are priced out of single-family homes, which are seeing more intense price growth,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Condos are less likely than other types of homes to be part of bidding wars, which means they’re a good option for buyers with small down payments and people who don’t feel comfortable waiving contingencies.”
Sales are also ticking up for single-family homes, but to a lesser extent. The number of urban single-family home sales was up 12.2% year over year, followed by rural single-family homes (7.4%) and suburban single-family homes (7.1%).
New listings of condos are picking up after a pandemic-driven plunge
New listings of urban condos rose 21.9% year over year during the 12 weeks ending April 4, more than any other home type, followed by a 6.3% increase for suburban condos. New listings of both urban and suburban condos plummeted roughly 40% year over year last spring.
Meanwhile, new listings rose just 1% year over year for urban single-family homes, and they were essentially flat from last year for rural single-family homes. New listings of suburban single-family homes dipped 4.5%.
The small year-over-year increase in new listings of condos is likely due in part to some condo owners moving up to single-family homes and some realizing there is buyer demand for their homes with renewed interest in city life. Another possible reason for the uptick is the continuing eviction moratorium, which may be encouraging landlords to sell their condos as it’s currently difficult in some cases to collect rent.
Florida is leading the recovery in urban condo sales
Urban condo sales were up more than 100% year over year in the North Port, FL metro during the 12 weeks ending April 4, the biggest increase of any metro included in this analysis. It’s followed by two other Florida metros: Naples, where condo sales were up 85.1%, and Deltona, where they were up 61.2%. Next come San Francisco (59.3%) and Miami (57.4%).
“Although single-family homes are still a hot commodity, condos are coming back,” said San Francisco Redfin agent Joanna Rose. “Because of the pandemic and lack of buyer interest in small, shared spaces, it was incredibly difficult to sell condos in 2020. But now that people are getting vaccinated and returning to the city, buyers are turning to condos as an alternative to pricey single-family homes. I had a condo listing come back on the market last month after trying to sell it for four months last year. It went under contract in less than a week.”
All 50 of the metros with the most urban condos sold in the 12 weeks ending April 4 saw year-over-year increases in the number of condos sold.
But in 14 of those 50 metros, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Boston, prices of urban condos are down from last year. In those places, the increase in sales is driven by an increase in new listings, along with buyer sentiment that condos are a good deal.
Housing market data for urban condos by metro area, 12 weeks ending April 4
50 metros with most urban condos sold in the relevant time period
Ranked from highest to lowest sales growth
|Metro area||Number of homes sold, YoY||Median sale price||Median sale price, YoY||New listings, YoY|
|North Port, FL||106.2%||$378,204||20.4%||24.6%|
|San Francisco, CA||59.3%||$1,114,240||-4.0%||29.2%|
|West Palm Beach, FL||43.3%||$315,229||54.0%||5.4%|
|Salt Lake City, UT||42.6%||$305,671||13.4%||-12.3%|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||41.8%||$209,250||16.6%||-9.1%|
|San Diego, CA||33.3%||$473,750||11.3%||16.7%|
|Cape Coral, FL||32.6%||$280,745||4.4%||1.5%|
|Los Angeles, CA||32.3%||$550,417||1.6%||35.6%|
|Las Vegas, NV||31.1%||$164,871||8.6%||5.9%|
|Virginia Beach, VA||29.4%||$222,108||10.4%||15.0%|
|San Jose, CA||28.2%||$684,604||4.0%||43.9%|
|New Brunswick, NJ||27.2%||$300,667||3.1%||37.1%|
|New Orleans, LA||19.3%||$278,931||6.9%||24.5%|
|New York, NY||11.8%||$663,646||-1.4%||47.3%|
The housing market data in this report divides rural, suburban and urban based on categories from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which built a model to describe neighborhood types based on responses to the 2017 American Housing Survey.
Note that the categories in the section about Redfin.com pageviews are different from the categories in the section on Redfin housing market data. The pageviews section divides areas into large metro areas (metro areas with a population of more than 1 million, which includes both urban and suburban neighborhoods), small towns and rural areas, while the Redfin housing market section divides areas into rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods.