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- In expensive metros, homes that are further away from job centers are gaining value.
- In less expensive metros, homes in close proximity to the city are gaining value.
- The most expensive metro areas, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Dallas, have seen home values stagnate or even fall.
- In less expensive metros such as Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore and Indianapolis, home values are trending up near downtown.
More Americans are prioritizing affordability over a shorter commute as remote work becomes more commonplace. As a result, home values within a short commute to downtown job centers are growing more slowly than those further out. According to a new analysis from Zillow, this reflects America’s preference for more affordable homes with more space in the Great Reshuffling.
The report declares that the American workplace has permanently changed due to the pandemic. Now that employees are untethered from their offices, homebuyers have a wider range to shop from. Previously, short commutes costed workers a heavy chunk of their income, but now trends are shifting.
Zillow’s HERE technology shows two separate events occurring in different types of markets. In expensive metros, homes that are further away from job centers are gaining value. In less expensive metros, homes in close proximity to the city are gaining value.
“Home buyers are placing less of a premium on a short commute thanks to the rise of remote work," says Zillow economic data analyst Nicole Bachaud. "Americans are searching for a combination of affordability and more space, whether that's outdoor space or an extra bedroom to turn into a home office. In expensive, dense markets, that usually means a home farther out from the downtown core, which is more palatable when you don't need to commute every day, if at all. In more sprawling metros, buyers are flocking to less expensive downtown cores, bringing a renewed interest to these city centers."
As more people take advantage of flexible work conditions, the value for homes further away from job centers continues to rise. However, in less expensive metros, short commutes to job centers became more popular, and homes in those areas increased in value at higher rates.
In less expensive metros such as Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore and Indianapolis, home values are trending up near downtown. In Detroit, a home within a 10-minute commute of downtown is now $101,228 more expensive than it was in 2019. In Indianapolis, the value of homes within a 10-minute commute of downtown have grown $54,025 over the same period.
Homes within a 10-minute commute from downtown job centers are the most expensive in 18 of the 35 metros included in the analysis. However, homes that are closest to downtown are growing fastest in only three of those 18 metros. In 11 of those metro areas, home values are stagnant or even falling.
The most expensive metro areas, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Dallas, have seen home values stagnate or even fall. A home with a 10-minute commute in New York is $73,673 cheaper than in 2019. Additionally, a home with the same commute in Boston is $21,175 cheaper.
Markets that saw the most net inbound moves in 2020 were Phoenix, Charlotte and Austin. “Prices are growing everywhere you look,” in these metros, the report states. In Phoenix and Charlotte, buyer demand is driving up prices all around both metros, regardless of commute times.
For more information look at Zillows interactive map showing home value changes from 2009 to 2021 based on commute time in each of the 35 analyzed metros.