Ohio home shoppers to find no relief in 2024, according to forecasts – The Columbus Dispatch

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Ohio home shoppers hoping for a bargain this year are likely to be disappointed.

The real-estate service Zillow predicts that three Ohio cities will be among the nation’s 10 hottest, or most competitive, real-estate markets in 2024. Zillow forecasts that Cincinnati will be the second-hottest market, followed by Columbus at #3 and Cleveland at #8.

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Leading the nation is Buffalo, New York, while Indianapolis lands at #4.

More:How Ohio cities fared in latest home-price rankings

Zillow reported that cities on the list “should stand out as strong in a housing market still buffeted by low inventory and relatively high mortgage rates and prices.”

But the company cautioned that the housing market will remain tight for most buyers in 2024.

“While mortgage rates have come down significantly in recent weeks, and projections for improved affordability and more homes for sale have become more common, the challenges that limited the U.S. housing market last year are unlikely to disappear entirely in 2024.”

Zillow’s list attempts to measure how “competitive” housing markets will be. The ranking is based on several calculations including anticipated home value appreciation; the speed of home sales; and the estimated number of new jobs per new home. The last metric in particular resonates in Columbus, where job growth is expected to be weak this year, but the number of new homes built might be even weaker, leaving buyers fighting for available homes.

Zillow’s list comes a few weeks after’s similar forecast of hot housing markets.’s list included none of the three Ohio cities on Zillow’s list but pegged another Buckeye city, Toledo, as the nation’s hottest market for 2024.’s lineup is based on expected sale and price growth rates.

No matter which list proves more accurate, Ohio homeowners and shoppers should expect more price hikes and competition this year.

In central Ohio, home prices have risen more than 40%, or nearly $100,000, since the end of 2019. Columbus-area prices stabilized some in 2023, but continue to rise faster than the national average.

But despite the big jumps, Midwestern cities on Zillow’s Top 10 list are more affordable than nationally. In Columbus, for example, the typical home value is $301,138, well below the national average of $347,415.

“Housing markets are healthiest where affordable home prices and strong employment are giving young hopefuls a real shot at buying and starting to build equity,” Anushna Prakash, data scientist for Zillow Economic Research, said in a news release.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that the housing market will get back on stable footing in 2024 — we shouldn’t see the massive price spikes of the early pandemic or fast-rising mortgage rates of recent years.” 

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