The hot housing market is pushing locals out of their beloved hometowns
When 30-year-old Kerry Sherin first moved to Austin, Texas in 2013, she instantly fell in love with the area and its fun college town vibe. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment she shared with a roommate was easily affordable for her starting salary at the time, and the location - dreamy.
Fast forward to 2021 and almost everything, except for the consistently good weather, has changed, Sherin said.
“Everyone is migrating here, so it's getting busier. Traffic is out of control, ”said the Maryland native.
But it is housing competition - especially given the influx of highly skilled technicians and overseas buyers with "pockets of cash" - that makes Austin literally uninhabitable for Sherin, who is emotionally ready to buy a home after saving has a deposit for years.
"Developers level old houses that would have been perfect for me - just the way they are," she said. "I would really hate to go away, but it's almost like being evicted."
A home for sale will be on display in Houston, Texas on August 12, 2021. House prices have risen during the pandemic as low interest rates and working from home have become more common. Home prices across the country continue to climb in the second quarter as strong demand continues to overwhelm the supply of homes for sale. (Photo by Brandon Bell / Getty Images)
Locals in other hot markets, where property prices and rents are rising at double digits, see it the same way.
"Displacement is one of the biggest problems in the country affecting long-term residents from Greater Miami to Asheville [in North Carolina] and from Rutland, Vermont to Coeur d'Alene [in Idaho]," said George Ratiu, manager of economic research at realtor.com.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Boise, Idaho, where home prices are 38.8% higher than a year ago, according to Dawn Templeton, one of the area's top real estate agents.
"It was a little crazy," said Templeton. "Remote workers, families, entrepreneurs and retirees all come to Boise for the recreational life that locals have coveted for years," Templeton said.
"We're feeling the growing pains and some of the locals don't like the growing," she added. "You find things challenging."
Just ask John Evans, 49, who was born and raised in Boise.
"We are bombarded with newbies from all over the world," he said. “A lot of them sell their big houses for a fortune, then bombard Boise with their fancy cars and buy places twice the size. but half as expensive. "
Evans becomes upset as he and his wife, who are now expecting their third child, need a bigger home.
“I would want a bigger yard and more outdoor space, but I am unable to offer a cash-only offer without contingency, nor am I willing to pay $ 100,000 for demand, which we do have to do. "" he said. "Newbies literally throw money at everything and leave people like me in the dust."
Melanie Musson from Bozeman, Montana, understands that. She has lived in the city for nearly 20 years, and although the influx of outsiders - and price escalation - has been more gradual, it's easy to see.
"Bozeman used to have a little western feel, but now it's a lot more crowded and starting to feel haughty - like Jackson Hole," she said. "People come in trying to look like cowboys with their boots and ripped jeans on, but those cowboys have never seen the field, let alone worked on one."
A flyer will be posted outside a home for sale in Larkspur, California on September 28, 2021. According to a report by S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller, house price indexes rose 19.9 percent in 20 cities in July, the largest increase since records began in 2000. (Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
Even so, Musson still loves everything Bozeman has to offer - skiing, camping, and hiking - along with the friendships she has made in her local community over the years. The problem is, she and her husband have outgrown the four-bedroom apartment they bought 13 years ago. After all, they now have five children between the ages of one and eleven.
"We're doing our best to make it work for us, but one of the kids is in a cot and another is sleeping in a pop-up tent on the floor," Musson said. "Of course it would be logical to move into a single-family home, but even with typical increases in income and equity in our condominium, it is still not affordable."
"Nobody could have guessed that the COVID-19 pandemic would change the dynamics of the housing market or that it would be so difficult for local residents to find something affordable," said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac. a real estate information company. "The accelerated appreciation of home prices surprised everyone."
Personal finance journalist Vera Gibbons is a former employee of SmartMoney magazine and a former correspondent for Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Vera, who served MSNBC as an on-air financial analyst for over a decade, currently co-hosts the weekly apolitical news podcast, NoPo, which she founded. She lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
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