The next best thing. That’s what makes up Redfin’s list of hottest neighborhoods of 2015. Homebuyers priced out of the urban hipster havens and upscale enclaves on the national real estate brokerage’s 2013 and 2014 hot lists are widening their search. But even compromise is costly: The median home price for a next-best Seattle neighborhood is $615,000.
Affordability in areas where house hunters wanted to buy—not job insecurity or low inventory—was cited for the first time since 2012 in a December home-buyer survey by the brokerage. Aside from that gargantuan issue, many things seem to bode well for home buying. You’ve got low interest rates on mortgages, signs of growth in the labor market, and such changes as the one by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back home mortgages when buyers make a 3 percent down payment, rather than the previous bar of 5 percent. But while consumers expect wage growth this year, it’s not materializing yet in any broad-based way.
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