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America’s Hottest Housing Markets Have a Newcomer So Cheap, Homebuyers Will Weep for Joy - The Jenn Pfeiffer Team
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America’s Hottest Housing Markets Have a Newcomer So Cheap, Homebuyers Will Weep for Joy

America’s Hottest Housing Markets Have a Newcomer So Cheap, Homebuyers Will Weep for Joy

By: Kimberly Dawn Neumann | REALTOR.COM

Although high mortgage rates have plunged most of America’s housing markets into early hibernation, if you zoom in closer, you’ll find that certain areas are busier and more bustling than a Black Friday doorbuster.

These were the findings of a new report by® of America’s Hottest Housing Markets, which gauges “hotness” via the number of views per listing and how long properties remain for sale.

Despite mortgage rates reaching a recent 23-year high and approaching 8%, homes in the 20 hottest markets in September had no shortage of interest and offers.

“These markets are seeing homes for sale move up to 31 days more quickly than the typical property in the United States,” says Realtor economist Hannah Jones in her analysis.

Where America’s hottest housing markets are hiding today

According to September data, 11 of America’s 20 hottest markets lie in the Northeast, with the ManchesterNashua, NH, metropolitan area in the No. 1 spot. This hot market mainstay—where listings receive triple the eyeballs as usual and linger a median of just 24 days before getting snapped up—has ranked in the top three every month since February 2021.

Following closely behind is the Midwest, with eight of the hottest markets in September. The OshkoshNeenah, WI, area ranked highest for that part of the country, coming in at seventh place.

“The Northeast and Midwest have dominated the hottest markets list since early 2022,” notes Jones. “The Midwest and Northeast have gained in popularity due to their affordability.”

How low housing inventory creates cutthroat competition

Yet although these hot markets still enjoy home sales hurtling forward at a brisk clip, they’re also plagued with a problem that dogs most of America: not enough houses for sale.

New listing activity fell annually in all 20 of the hottest markets. This disparity has created surprisingly competitive conditions, as homebuyers vie for fewer homes in areas with relatively more affordable price tags.

This means homebuyers in these markets really must be fully prepared and ready to pounce.

“Because homes in the hottest markets move fast,” Jones explains, “shoppers in these areas should be aware of conditions and have their finances in order, including a mortgage pre-approval, so that they can submit an offer quickly if they find a home that is a good fit.”

Why housing markets never remain affordable for long

While it’s understandable in today’s high-rate environment for affordable markets to attract the most attention and offers, that affordability might not last for long. High demand and low supply typically lead to higher prices—in fact, it already has.

While home prices have remained fairly stable across most of the country—hovering at a median of $425,000 in October—housing prices in the 20 hottest markets ticked up considerably in September, spiking by up to 27% more in these areas.

“September is the 14th month in a row that the average hottest markets’ price growth climbed beyond U.S. price growth,” says Jones. “The wide-ranging search for affordability is driving relatively high price growth in otherwise affordable locales.”

However, despite growing home prices, these hot spots still remain relatively affordable compared with the country at large, at least so far.

“Overall, 14 of September’s hottest markets were priced below the national median,” says Jones. The average list price for the 20 hottest markets remained at $390,000 in September, which is 9.2% lower than the national median.

A newcomer to the top 20 markets

While many of America’s hottest markets are mainstays from month to month, September did welcome a newcomer, with Binghamton, NY, joining the top 20 for the first time ever, in 11th place.

The reason is simple: Homes here boast a median list price of just $190,000—less than half the U.S. median. This means buyers in Binghamton financing 80% of a home purchase at today’s mortgage rates would be looking at a monthly housing payment of roughly $1,000, versus roughly $2,400 for a typical home.

“This housing payment is also roughly on par with the median rent in Oklahoma City, the cheapest rent metro that we track,” says Jones. This, in turn, makes “homeownership in Binghamton a deal relative to both buying and renting in much of the country.”

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