15 Hottest Up-and-Coming U.S. Housing Markets: 2024
In November, the high mortgage rates that had been weighing on the housing market started to trend downward from their nearly 8% peak in October, reaching as low as 6.6% in mid-January, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com.
In response, both pending and existing home sales leveled off in December, with bigger declines averted by lower mortgage rates.
The housing market is unlikely to return to balance this year, the Realtor.com 2024 Housing Forecast suggests, but it will move in that direction. Still, buyers continue to find limited inventory.
The report noted that low buyer demand and possibly even lower seller activity is bolstering prices, which rose by 1.2% annually in December and remained about 37% higher than pre-pandemic levels at the national level. Homes spent four fewer days on the market than in December 2022 but still remained there two weeks less than before the pandemic — an indication of low for-sale inventory.
According to the report, demand in affordable locales keeps inventory conditions tight, price growth strong and time on market snappy, even though housing activity remains constrained nationally.
The most recent Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index identifies housing markets that those considering a home purchase to live in or rent out may want to add to their shortlist. These offer shoppers a lower cost of living, including for homes, and thriving local economies that are attractive but not too crowded.
To determine the winter 2024 ranking, researchers reviewed data for the 300 largest metropolitan areas, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, and defined by March 2020 delineation standards for eight indicators across two broad categories, each with a 50% weighting: real estate market, and economic health and quality of life.
They ranked each market on a scale of 0 to 100 according to the category indicators and based the overall index on the weighted sum of these rankings.
See the accompanying gallery for the 15 hottest up-and-coming U.S. housing markets, according to the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index.