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10 Top Real Estate Markets As Home Sales Surge in 2024: Report – Business Insider

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These will be the 10 hottest real estate markets in the US as home sales surge in 2024, according to the National Association of Realtors

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Next year will be much busier for the housing market, the National Association of Realtors says.

Davel5957/Getty Images


  • US home sales will rebound strongly in 2024, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Falling mortgage rates will lure buyers back to the market after two quiet years.
  • Here are 10 cities that are about to benefit from pent-up demand from buyers.

The housing market is on the brink of a dramatic turnaround after back-to-back down years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

US home sales are on pace to plummet about 18% in 2023, the NAR noted in a recent report, which would be the biggest drop in at least 15 years. Fewer than four million houses will change hands for the first time since 2010, which was just before the recovery from the financial crisis.

NAR home sale decline

National Association of Realtors



Prospective buyers were pummeled by the highest mortgage rates in decades. The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage peaked near 7.8% in late October as interest rates skyrocketed.

Surprisingly, weaker demand didn’t bring down home prices meaningfully, the NAR found. Instead, sale values kept increasing since there simply weren’t enough houses on the market, which added insult to injury for financially stressed buyers.

NAR home shortage

Limited home supply kept prices elevated, hurting hopeful buyers.

National Association of Realtors



However, 2024 will give everyone — from buyers to sellers to realtors — a reason to celebrate.

A 30-year fixed mortgage rate will tumble to an average of 6.3% next year, according to projections from the NAR, which is far from ideal but is still a marked improvement. The firm projects that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates four times in 2024, starting in the spring.

“The decline in mortgage rates is expected to draw more buyers, including those returning to the market, consequently bolstering demand for housing,” NAR researchers wrote in the report. “These lower mortgage rates will also ease the rate lock-in effect by enticing more existing homeowners to re-enter the market and list their homes.”

Improvements in affordability will lead to a resurgence in housing market activity, according to the NAR. It expects new home sales to rise 19% and existing property sales to grow 13%, which will lead to windfalls for realtors. Sellers should also enjoy home price gains, the NAR said.

NAR home sale forecast 2024

National Association of Realtors



10 cities with strong pent-up demand in 2024

To determine which real estate markets will reap the rewards of next year’s housing market rebound, the NAR created a list of 10 metropolitan areas that have the most pent-up demand right now. These cities are sleeping giants where home transactions will explode after a dormant stretch.

The NAR put together the list by analyzing 10 factors in the 100 largest US markets, including how much home prices rose in Q3 2023 from the year prior, how many renters in the market can afford to buy, and how many buyers may re-enter the market if mortgage rates fall back to 6.5%. Other considerations included the metro area’s job growth rate, income growth rate, and crime rate.

Each market is below, along with its home price growth in 2023, the share of renters who could afford to buy a median-priced home in the market, the share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall to 6.5% or lower, and additional commentary from the National Association of Realtors.

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1. Austin, Texas

A street filled with cars in Austin, Texas.

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Austin, Texas.

Evan Semones


2023 home price growth: -7.7%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 18.9%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 5.1%

Commentary: “This region boasts one of the largest pools of ‘returning’ buyers. If interest rates drop to 6.5% in 2024, 5.1% of all households will once again have the means to afford the median-priced home.

“Despite ongoing housing cost challenges, a notable trend is emerging as many Millennials earning over $100,000 are relocating from other states to this market. While prices seem to be very sensitive to market changes, the influx of these high-earner Millennial renters, coupled with the presence of ‘returning’ buyers, is anticipated to fuel growth in the local housing market. According to the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales activity has already shown a positive turnaround.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

2. Dallas, Texas

dallas texas

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The Dealey Plaza, Bank of America, and Old Red Museum in Dallas, Texas.

Getty Images


2023 home price growth: 1.9%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 21.5%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.9%

Commentary: “Among the 100 largest metro areas, Dallas had the second fastest-growing job market. The local economy was able to create more than 4% additional jobs compared to the previous year. With 22% of renters able to afford to buy the median-priced home, housing activity will increase in this area as mortgage rates will fall in 2024.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

3. Dayton, Ohio

Downtown Dayton, Ohio

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Dayton, Ohio

Davel5957/Getty Images


2023 home price growth: 9.1%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 30.6%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.7%

Commentary: “Dayton is not only affordable but also offers many affordable options to first-time buyers. These buyers can afford to purchase more than half of the listings in this market. Furthermore, a strong job market in this area will allow more renters to make the transition to homeownership next year.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

4. Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Durham North Carolina

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock


2023 home price growth: 2.6%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 18.8%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 5.6%

Commentary: “The Research Triangle could not be left off the list. The Durham metro area leads with the highest share of ‘returning’ buyers, accounting for 6% of the households that can afford again to buy a home. This area is lacking affordable listings for first-time buyers, but wage growth has been tremendous with average earnings rising by 13 percentage points from last year.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

5. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

harrisburg pennsylvania

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Shutterstock/Jon Bilous


2023 home price growth: 8.5%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 32.1%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 5.3%

Commentary: “While this area is already affordable for more than 30% of the renters, it’s also attracting high-earner renters from other states. In the meantime, with the anticipated decline in mortgage rates next year, both inventory and buying activity are expected to grow further in this area as existing homeowners sell their homes. Notably, 42% of homeowners have already surpassed the average tenure of 15 years for this area.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

6. Houston, Texas

An above view of downtown Houston, Texas.

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Houston, Texas.

Duy Do/Getty Images


2023 home price growth: 3.7%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 23.8%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.3%

Commentary: “Yet the third area of the Texas Triangle had made it to the list. Affordability and strong job and wage growth in Houston will boost activity in this market in 2024. While housing affordability for renters in Houston surpasses that of most markets across the country, the noteworthy aspect is the fourfold increase in wages, outpacing the national level.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

7. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

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Nashville, nicknamed “Music City,” is recognized as the country music capital of the world.

Michael Warren/Getty Images


2023 home price growth: 0.7%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 13.8%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.6%

Commentary: “The anticipated resurgence of ‘returning’ buyers will also drive market growth in Nashville next year. In the meantime, a strong job market attracts many Millennial renters earning more than $100K. Nevertheless, this area faces a severe housing shortage of listings at the price range that first-time buyers can afford to purchase.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia is home to a number of historic US landmarks, including Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.

joe daniel price/Getty Images


2023 home price growth: 4.6%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 21.5%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.7%

Commentary: “This market is set to experience a boost, driven by pent-up demand from buyers and sellers, as the rate lock-in effect begins to ease next year. Forty-four percent of homeowners have surpassed the 17-year mark, representing the average tenure in this area. As for first-time buyers, their affordable purchase options are twice as plentiful compared to most of the areas across the country.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

9. Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine.

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Portland, Maine.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock


2023 home price growth: 12.3%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 20.2%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.9%

Commentary: “Following San Jose, Portland attracted the most Millennial renters who earn more than $100K. This area had the lowest violent crime rate among the 100 largest metro areas. However, fewer than 10% of the listings are within reach for first-time buyers. But, given that about 42% of the homeowners have exceeded the average tenure, there’s potential for an increase in inventory from these rate lock-in sellers as they list their homes in the market.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

10. Washington, DC; Arlington/Alexandria, Virginia

Washington, DC, cityscape with Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.

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Washington, DC, cityscape with Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.

ESB Professional/Shutterstock


2023 home price growth: 3.4%

Share of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home: 15.8%

Share of returning buyers if mortgage rates fall: 4.8%

Commentary: “While this area is recognized as having a high teleworking population, the proportion of remote workers witnessed a significant decline, plummeting by 21 percentage points in 2022. This decline in remote work is expected to drive increased demand in the market as people return to their offices. One in five listings falls within the budget range for first-time buyers.”

Source: National Association of Realtors

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