The Week (US)

Home buying dreams killed by high prices


Candace Taylor

There is an emotional cost to the real-estate frenzy enveloping small-town America, said Candace Taylor. First-time buyers Dominic Pollock and his fiancée, Brooke Terplan, have “been saving for years” and were hoping to be in a house in their native Allentown, Pa., by the week of their wedding in late May. In nine months, they have placed

“more than 20 offers on houses” around their $250,000 budget. “Each time, they were outbid.” Their heartbreak­ing journey isn’t unique. Housing prices have soared, and the crunch is not just felt in “high-profile locations such as Palm Beach, Fla., and the suburbs outside New York City.” Bidding wars

are now common in “long-neglected locales where properties typically sat on the market for months.” In the area surroundin­g Allentown, a Rust Belt city about 60 miles north of Philadelph­ia, the average home price has jumped by $45,000 in a year, “and properties sell in 48 hours.” Nearly a fifth of them are bought by investors, who use online platforms such as BiggerPock­ets and Fundrise to scoop up properties, often sight unseen. This environmen­t might sound great for sellers, but many are afraid to list because “they have nowhere to go.” The cycle keeps housing inventory low, and the emotional roller coaster for Pollock and Terplan keeps rolling.

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