The hottest real estate markets in America right now are smaller cities that most folks probably wouldn’t be able to find on a map. But what they lack in name recognition, they more than make up for in affordability as cheaper alternatives to larger, pricier cities.
The Fort Wayne, IN, metropolitan area held on to its title as the nation’s hottest housing market in August, according an analysis of August realtor.com® data. The rankings are based on the number of listing views on realtor.com and how quickly properties are selling.
(Metros include the main city and the surrounding smaller towns and urban areas.)
“Smaller markets with smaller price tags continue to heat up feverishly,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com’s director of economic research. “Buyers have more success in markets that have plentiful supplies of homes below $200,000 in the Northeast and the Midwest. In the West and the Southwest, we’re seeing alternatives to the pricey, larger cities make the list.”
Median home prices in greater Fort Wayne, a small, industrial city about two hours northeast of Indianapolis, were a median $162,000 as of Aug. 1, according to local real estate brokerage Re/Max Results.
The Midwestern city has been coming back up for years, with a revitalized downtown, a new waterfront park, and lots of new restaurants and shops opening up. A professional soccer team will have a permanent home there as well beginning next year.
“We have been one of the most affordable places in the U.S. for decades,” says Re/Max Results agent Tug Pierson. “Because of local, economic growth, we are attracting startups and new employers—so the job market is expanding.”
The sweet spot for buyers is the $150,000 to $300,000 range outside of the downtown area. On the low end, that will get them a newly constructed three-bedroom, two-bathroom home clocking in at about 1,4000 square feet. At the higher end of that range, buyers can score a brand-new, two-story, four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home with a basement. These homes are anywhere from 2,000 to 2,600 square feet.
But the competition is fierce.
“If something comes on the market at 2 a.m., I’m getting texts from buyers at 6 or 7 a.m.” says Pierson. Multiple bids and offers over asking price aren’t uncommon, and he’s seeing more out-of-state buyers.
“There’s not a month that goes by that I don’t get a call from someone from Illinois, Washington state, Oregon,” he adds.
Here are the other hottest markets in August:
The hot listMetroRank (August 2019)Rank (August 2018)Fort Wayne, IN113Pueblo, CO22Midland, TX 31Rochester, NY45Columbus, OH59Buffalo, NY648Lafayette, IN723Kennewick, WA875Spokane, WA921Manchester, NH1029Janesville-Beloit, WI112Vallejo-Fairfield, CA1210Akron, OH1335Dayton, OH1416Stockton-Lodi, CA1515Burlington, NC1653Canton-Massillon, OH1738Bakersville, CA1854Yuba City, CA1921Monroe, MI2020
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Source: Housing Trends Feed