Spillover, or secondary, markets are dominating real estate as more buyers move to less dense, more affordable, and spacious areas. The metros seeing homes scooped up the fastest are located close to large metros but with lower prices, says Realtor.com. For the first time in nearly 10 years, Stockton, Calif. has become one of the most popular metros. It’s located 72 miles east of San Francisco's East Bay area with a population of 310,000, and homes are gone here faster than anywhere else in the country, says Realtor.com.
Patterson traces the housing shortage to just after the initial pandemic shutdown last spring.
"It took a couple of months for the listings to dry up—before lockdown, there was a normal amount of inventory," he says. As in other places, homeowners have been reluctant to put their homes on the market and risk exposure to the coronavirus from potential buyers coming through.
Now, there's a dearth of homes for sale, plus buyers flooding in from the Bay Area armed with extra cash. He estimates a 60-40 split between local and out-of-town home buyers. While the median listing price here was $480,000 in January, that's a bargain compared with San Francisco, where it's around $1 million.
"We've always seen [Bay Area buyers] come in here, but now even more so. They're coming in hordes, but now with lots of cash," Patterson says.