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April 2024 Hottest Housing Markets

Highlights

  • The Manchester-Nashua, NH, metro area ranked as the country’s hottest housing market in April.

  • Prices were stable nationwide in April, but the month’s hottest markets saw more substantial price growth (+6.1%) due to high demand.

  • The Northeast and the Midwest were the only regions on this month’s list with 14 and 6 markets, respectively. April’s list is the seventh in a row that contains only Northeast and Midwest markets.

  • The Kansas City, MO, metro area saw the largest increase in its hotness ranking among large U.S. metros compared with last year, climbing 85 spots to rank as the 196th hottest U.S. market in April.


The Manchester-Nashua, NH, metro area ranked as April’s hottest housing market for the eighth time in the past year. Manchester-Nashua hit No. 1 for the first time in March 2021 and has been a mainstay at the top of the list ever since. 


The Realtor.com Market Hotness rankings take into account two aspects of the housing market: 1) market demand, as measured by unique views per property on Realtor.com, and 2) the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on Realtor.com.


Demand and price growth outpace U.S. in hottest markets

The U.S. saw home prices stay flat in April while the hottest markets saw 6.1% annual price growth. Both price growth and demand outpace the national trend.


Demand, as measured by views per property, was almost triple the national level in the hottest markets in April. This is the highest hot market relative demand in the data history (back to mid-2017). This suggests that the month’s hottest markets are seeing significantly more demand than the typical home nationally, despite still-challenging housing conditions.  


Five of the country’s hottest markets saw listings bring in more than three times the national median viewership. The month’s top market, Manchester-Nashua, N.H., and the eighth-ranked market, Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn., both saw nearly four times the national median views per listing.


One of the month’s highest-priced hot markets, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest relative demand in April, but it still brought in double the views per property relative to the typical U.S. property. 


Inventory levels were 30.4% higher nationally compared with one year ago in April. Only one market, Eau Claire, Wis., saw inventory grow faster than national inventory. Thirteen hot markets saw inventory increase year over year in April, though by less than the national rate, and six markets saw inventory fall. 


Scarce inventory conditions drive views per property higher, upping the competition for homes in the hottest markets, and adding upward pressure to home prices.


On average, the month’s hottest markets saw home prices climb 6.1% in April while prices remained flat nationally. The hottest markets sold an average of 1 day faster than last year and roughly 3 weeks faster than the national median in April.


Who’s new

All but six markets on the April Hottest Housing Markets list were also on March’s list. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt., New Haven-Milford, Conn., Lancaster, Pa., Eau Claire, Wis., Binghamton, N.Y., and Canton-Massillon, Ohio, entered the list this month ranked 11th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th, respectively. 


Who’s out

Six markets fell out of the top 20 from February’s list, but none fell very far. Janesville-Beloit, WI, Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN, Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI, Springfield, IL, Trenton-Princeton, NJ, and Akron, OH, fell to ranks ranging from 25th to 30th, retaining substantial hotness despite their fall. These areas remained popular, emphasizing the recent draw of Midwest and Northeast metros, which have dominated the list since February 2022. 


Looking instead at which metros have fallen the furthest over the past year reveals a mix of metros that have fallen from popularity. The metros that have fallen the furthest include Wichita Falls, TX (146 spots lower), Muskegon, MI (146 spots lower), Anchorage, AK (130 spots lower), and Joplin, MO (113 spots lower).




Most improved large markets: Low-ranked large markets improve


Larger urban markets heated up this month, with the largest 40 markets across the country getting 5 ranks hotter, on average, since April 2023.


Large metros continue to heat up as homebuyers return to the office and look for a home near business hubs. These areas pulled in about 11% more views per listing than was typical in the U.S. in April, and homes spent 9 fewer days on the market than the U.S. median.


Prices climbed only an average 0.9% in these markets, tracking closely to national prices stagnating on an annual basis. However, persistent home price growth and elevated mortgage rates have driven the cost of purchasing a home so high that it is now cheaper to rent than to buy a starter home in all 50 of the 50 largest U.S. markets. On the plus side, affordable inventory is on the rise and rents continue to fall, promising better housing ahead. 


This month, the five most improved large metros were scattered across the country, with two Midwest, two Northeast, and one West market. The most improved housing markets were Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. (+85 spots), Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (+70 spots), Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (+64 spots), Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. (+64 spots), and New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+42 spots). This month’s fastest-climbing markets ranked between 63rd (Chicago) and 214th (New York City) on April’s list. 



By Hannah Jones


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