Over the summer, Fort Wayne joined the ranks of the hottest housing markets in the United States. According to Realtor.com the city has recently moved up to the 10th best market in the country. This places Fort Wayne in company with some of the country’s most important and dynamic metropolises. The list includes 7 California cities, one in Texas, and one in Colorado, as well as our hometown. Fort Wayne stands as the sole representative of both the Midwest and the eastern side of the country. Realtor.com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, states that the reason that California seems to dominate the list is because, “California markets tend to be fairly consistent—we don’t see huge changes.” The weather, unique job opportunities, and cultural centers of California draw people to the state in a steady stream, meaning that demand for property is always high.
Fort Wayne’s housing market benefits from some of these same qualities as well, but the website states that the market’s main asset is the low median home price. The $115,900 median price for a home in Fort Wayne, although it is admittedly far from pocket change, averages out to a median list price per square foot of $74. Some California markets have an average price per square foot of about $1,000, so one can understand why Fort Wayne is able to compete with more well known locales. Local Coldwell Banker Realtor Charla Sheray is unsurprised that the city made the list, commenting, “The housing market is like I’ve never seen it before.” Sheray states that Coldwell Banker saw a 20 percent increase in closings since the beginning of the year.
North Eastern Realty Group President Kim Ward cites similar numbers, with a 14 percent rise in sales over his company’s best month. He states that, “Homes are flying off the market.” Of course this can be positive or negative, depending on one’s perspective. Sellers are quickly finding interested parties, and are capitalizing on their home equity in a timely manner. Buyers, while they are receiving good deals, are facing heavy market competition. Sheray states that multiple offers can pop up for homes just a few days after the listing is created, which occasionally results in bidding wars between prospective buyers. In some cases limited housing availability can result in difficulty securing the perfect home, and can increase the stress levels of those looking to settle down in Fort Wayne.
For the city and its citizens, however, the current state of the market is overwhelmingly positive. Competitive home prices and quality home offerings combine to attract young and talented professionals, and these professionals will then be employed in high-skill, high-paying jobs which provide the city with valuable services. Additionally, due to the increase in individuals working in high pay fields, the city will see a slight increase in its income tax revenue which it can use to invest in local projects and further increase returns. New business will then come to the city and create more job opportunities that attract more outside workers to Fort Wayne, making the process cyclical and self-sustaining.
The economic repercussions of such a strong market could positively affect the city for years, and with officials prepared to capitalize on growth with transformative projects detailed in the region’s Road to One Million plan, Fort Wayne is poised to continue attracting national attention.
Many will remember NerdWallet's ranking of Fort Wayne in the top ten Best Cities for Quality of Life a couple years ago. In August, Fort Wayne earned the number one spot for US cities with the lowest cost of living, and last month, the top five for hottest housing markets in October. With numbers and potential like this, Fort Wayne is one special place to call home.
"Pink Lady - The 1887 Sponhaur House in all her fall glory!" Striking shot by @ChrisSandersn, who also helps family and friends build, buy, and sell homes in Fort Wayne.