Key Highlights

  • Renewed optimism about returning to city life with searches up +200%
  • Rural home searches up +235%
  • Prices in both city and rural areas seeing double digit increases

According to Redfin, the big news concerning October’s home searches is that page-views in cities and their surrounding suburbs were up +200%. This uptick is the largest annual increased interest in urban living since that interest fell off a cliff in March and April at the onset of the COVID pandemic. Page-views in rural areas and small towns increased even more…searches in rural areas increased +235% y/y and in small towns, searches were up +218%] but less than their respective 273% peak in August and 233% in September.

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“Rural areas and small towns remain desirable – especially for families who need space to accommodate remote work as the pandemic persists – but record-low mortgage rates are motivating people to search in cities too, “said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist.

 In speaking to a renewed optimism about city life, Fairweather said, “Many buyers are crossing their fingers that restaurants, bars and shops may be bustling again in the next year or so, and they’re looking to invest in the eventual resurgence of cities.”

Redfin’s Jessie Culbert Boucher, an agent in Seattle, seconded Fairweather’s city optimism. “…some buyers are looking long-term and realizing it’s possible to buy a condo for a 2017 price without competition. If they hold onto it for five years, they’ll likely ride out the current downturn, make money and enjoy the return of vibrant city life.”

Pending home sales jumped fairly significantly throughout October in all three neighborhood types as of November 8:

  • Rural pending sales – +37.4%
  • Suburban pending sales – +36%
  • Urban pending sales – +26.1%

Total home sales in rural areas were up +11.4% y/y; +15.4% in suburban areas; and +9.3% in urban areas. Reflective of both pending and total home sales as of November 8, housing supply dropped -40.9% y/y in rural areas; -31.9% y/y in suburban areas and -14.5% y/y in urban areas. The only urban center with a substantial uptick in supply as of November 8 was San Francisco with an inventory uptick of +70% y/y.

Take a look at the national housing market summary as of November 8, according to Redfin:


Rural         Suburban          Urban


Med. Sale Price                 $300K       $330,500           $289,000

Med. Sale Price y/y            +18.3%     +14.3%             +15.6%

Med. Price/Sq. Foot               $149         $167               $184

Med. Price/Sq. Foot y/y    +13.1%     +11.6%              +14.2%

Home Sales y/y                +11.4%     +15.4%              +9.3%

Pending Sales y/y              +37.4%     +36%                 +26.1%

# Homes for Sale y/y         -40.9%      -31.9%               -14.5%

New Listings y/y                +8.8%       +13.4%              +13.7%


Thanks to Redfin.

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