Lottery winners looking to start a real estate monopoly could buy all the homes for sale in Toledo or Wichita, but just 9% in New York.
Last night’s Powerball jackpot is an estimated $1.5 billion, which is enough to purchase a lot of real estate. As it turns out, how much depends on where you live. Assuming the winner takes a lump sum of $600 million after taxes, we calculated how much of the current inventory in each of the biggest 100 markets could be bought with the winnings.
Looking to buy all the homes on the market to start your real estate empire? Head to Toledo, Ohio, and Wichita, Kans., where the winner could purchase each and every home that is currently listed on Trulia. Not only are homes cheap in these markets, but they’re also the smallest of the biggest 100 metros, so total inventory is low. In the remaining eight metros where you can purchase the most homes, the winner could scoop at least 90% of current inventory.
On the other hand, winners looking to buy in large metropolitan areas might want to think twice. In New York and Long Island, only 9% and 16% of inventory could be picked up. New York comes to the bottom not only because it is the largest metro in the US but also because it’s a pricey market. Other large metros, such as Miami and Los Angeles, also come to the bottom of the list both because of their sheer size and their relatively high prices. Of the remaining 10 places where winners can buy the fewest homes on the market, no more than 24% of listings could be acquired.
Why aren’t pricey markets like San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, Calif. on the bottom the list? Because the share of homes on the market that could be purchased is determined not just by how expensive homes are, but how many are on the market. In the costly Bay Area you could buy between 42-47% of inventory, which would go further than spending your winnings in Phoenix, Houston, and Atlanta. This is because although Phoenix, Houston, and Atlanta are cheaper, there are more homes on the market because the metros are larger.
To determine the share of current inventory that could be purchased with a Powerball lump sum (~$600 million), we looked at the cumulative cost of acquiring all homes on the market starting with the low end of the price distribution in each market.
Guest Blog Post from Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia. For original article, see here: Where the Powerball Winner Can Buy the Most Homes on the Market
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