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Local Housing Markets: Fargo, Bergen County and 30A, Florida

An inside look at five local markets from across the country

Local housing markets is a HousingWire magazine feature spotlighting housing trends across the country.

Bergen County, N.J.

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New Jersey’s Bergen County gives homebuyers the best of both worlds. There are over 9,000 acres of parklands and easy access to New York City. “There are excellent schools and great transportation into Manhattan, but if you go a little bit north you can go hiking. It has a little bit of everything,” Max Stokes, a Bergen County-based Compass agent, said. Recently, Bergen County has been home to one of the hottest housing markets in the country. After hovering around $700,000 from late May until early December 2022, the 90-day average median list price of homes in Bergen County has been steadily on the rise, reaching a new peak of $859,000 in the week ending April 14, 2023, according to data from Altos Research. In addition, Altos reports that the 90-day average median days on the market has fallen back down to 56 days after reaching a high of 84 earlier this year.

“A lack of inventory still exists in Bergen County,” Stokes said. “People aren’t moving because they are tied into low-interest rates, so they aren’t listing their home. For every seller I probably have 50 buyers.” But, homes are not receiving the same volume of offers that they used to. “At the peak, there was a lot more panic in the market. Every single house would get 20 to 30 offers, but most of them were not that strong,” he said. “Only the top five or six were really worth considering and now those top five or six offers are all you are seeing on properties.”

30A, Florida

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Named after the County Road 30A, which spans roughly 20 miles along the Florida panhandle coastline, the 30A metro area encompasses Destin, Panama City, Santa Rosa and other towns in between. Known for its white sand beaches, coastal dune lakes and the vibrant blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the 30A region has become quite popular with vacation home and second home buyers. “The weather and the beach are unbeatable,” Ray Giacoletti, a local Corcoran Group agent, said. “It really is paradise here. The sun just makes you feel alive each and every day.”

With 10 picturesque, beachfront towns in the area, Giacoletti says that depending on homebuyers’ budgets they are sure to find exactly what they are looking for. The median list price for homes in Walton County has been on the rise, increasing from a 90-day average median list price of $489,500 in April 2018 to $884,000 in April 2023, according to data from Altos Research. Although the market in Walton County cooled in the later part of 2022 and in the early months

Pasadena, Calif.

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While most of the California housing market has been making headlines for declining home prices, there is still a strong seller’s market in Pasadena. It had an Altos Research Market Action Index score of 49, well above the 30-point reading that would indicate a balanced market. “The inventory remains low, which offsets the impact of higher interest rates and a diminished number of buyers,” Tracy Do, a local Coldwell Banker agent, said.

“As a result of this, the last two listings we brought to the market in Pasadena received multiple offers from qualified buyers. Homes that are priced to meet the marketplace are doing well and selling within the first 14 days on the market.” Known for its annual Tournament of Roses, Pasadena has attracted newcomers and tourists alike since its founding in the 1880s. The area was originally home to the Hahamonga Tribe of Native Americans, before the establishment of the San Gabriel Mission in 1771 by Spaniards of the Franciscan order. Today, Pasadena is home to a wide variety of industries, as well as the California Institute of Technology.

Charleston, W.V.

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Unlike many other markets across the country, Charleston’s housing market did not take off at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the 90-day average median list price of a home in Charleston has yet to again reach the peak of $198,358 it hit in late May 2019. This spring, things were looking positive for a metro area whose median list price has spent the past five years hovering between $160,000 and $200,000, according to data from Altos Research. With inventory continuing to decline, hitting a 90-day average of 150 homes as of the week ending April 14, and the 90-day average median list price coming in at $193,147, it appears the record may be in reach.

Sitting at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, Charleston is the most populous city in West Virginia. With a variety of job opportunities and easy access to outdoor activities like hiking and whitewater rafting, Charleston offers residents big city amenities with small-town charms

Fargo, N.D.

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An early stopping point for steamboats traveling down the Red River in the late 19th century, Fargo was originally known as Centralia. The city was eventually renamed to honor Northern Pacific Railway director, and Wells Fargo Express Company founder, William Fargo. Today the population of Fargo is roughly 128,600. It is the most populous city in North Dakota.

In the past decade, the city has gained nearly 17,000 new residents, causing the demand for housing to rise. Despite the volatile mortgage rate environment, the median list price for homes in Fargo continued to rise this spring, reaching a new 90-day average median list price high of $373,357, according to Altos Research data. With only 170 active listings, the city’s still tight inventory has helped keep prices high this spring and contributed to the city’s Altos Market Action Index score of 40.

This article was originally published in the June/July issue of HousingWire Magazine. Click here to read the full magazine.

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