2024’s Real Estate Stars: The Top Housing Markets Emerging This Year

by posted in FOREX TRADING, Investments, MAKE MONEY, TRENDING

House hunters and homebuyers, take heed! A new year means fresh opportunities for finding a starter home, upgrading your living situation, or building your real estate empire. But how is anyone supposed to navigate today’s housing market?

Making accurate predictions about the housing market takes tons of data crunching. Many variables impact the growth of metropolitan and regional areas. Some cities grow faster than others in their local markets due to job opportunities, infrastructure development, and better urban planning. Employment rates, impacted by return-to-office policies and layoffs, also affect the number of homes purchased and sold.

Based on low housing inventory and a stagnated economy, expected sales and price growth differed greatly in some unusual areas. Falling interest rates also boosted metro and regional markets. Let’s explore how these factors affected the top 20 housing markets emerging this year, using valuable research from Realtor.com as a launching point.

1. Toledo, OH

Toledo, OH
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

With its median home prices sitting well below average at $157,983, it’s safe to say, “Holy Toledo!” No wonder this Ohio town takes number one on the list. Toledo offers a much lower cost of living, making it a better place to start a family. 

Even better is its schooling system, which explains the influx of families flocking to the regione. Although it has a less stable job market than other cities on this list, its lower cost insulates homeowners and prospective owners from staying renters forever.

2. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks – Ventura, CA

Oxnard California
Image Credit: Mountain Mike Johans – CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

With only 9.4% of its citizens living below the poverty line, this metro area of California sits below the national average of 12.6%. This bodes well for anyone interested in real estate. Fewer folks struggling with income means more people can afford to own homes. 

With above-average marriage rates and owner-occupied homes, these cities stand out as stable. The median home value is more than double the national average, which is ideal for those looking to grow real estate wealth elsewhere by moving.

3. Rochester, NY

Rochester, New York
Image Credit: Sirichai netthong/Shutterstock.

As the fourth-most-populated city in New York state, Rochester’s ranking in the top five makes sense. The Rochester Citywide Housing Study revealed that young adults aged 18 to 34 made up 40% of the strongest markets in 2016. Over the last eight years, this city’s housing market has bounced back remarkably, with inflation increasing and unemployment skyrocketing and stabilizing.

Affordable housing isn’t the only appeal for Millennial and Gen Z homeowners. Upstate New York appeals to many, especially with its distance from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Residents get a small town feel against a backdrop of rolling green hills and picturesque farmland.

4. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA

San Diego CA
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Located in San Diego County, Chula Vista offers many of the same beautiful bayfront views of its nearby sister city. With owner-occupied housing rates at 60% and 91% of citizens living in the same homes for a year or more, it’s no surprise. 

A high median income of $101,984 makes for a wealthier socioeconomic set, allowing for economic stimulus through future-focused city planning.

5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

Riverside, California
Image Credit: Basil D Soufi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Riverside is another sunny region in southern California that offers much more. With unemployment rates spiking at 15% in April 2020 and steadily dropping to a low of 5% in 2023, the economic stability in this area speaks for itself. 

Steady jobs bode well for owner-occupation, home sales prices, and general infrastructure development. This Inland Empire offers some of the best quality of life opportunities around.

6. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, California
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Housing in Bakersfield isn’t as expensive as you’d think. It’s the utilities that jack up the price. The cost of living is 23% lower here than the rest of the state but 9% higher than the national average. 

A higher cost of living isn’t the end of the world. With owner-occupation rates sitting at 59%, the region demonstrates stable housing trends.

7. Springfield, MA

Springfield, Massachusetts
Image Credit: AlexiusHoratius – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

As the City of Progress turned City of Homes, Springfield sits happily in the top 10 emerging housing markets for 2024. Located only a half-hour from Boston, you can easily enjoy a night in the city and make it home for a cozy bedtime in the burbs. Its rich history makes it clear to see why folks happily call Springfield home.

The average annual salary of $58,230 makes for easily affordable rent and home savings. Its proximity to the Knowledge Corridor creates plenty of job opportunities, too. If medical research or healthcare interest you, this is an ideal place to call home.

8. Worcester, MA-CT

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Wormtown, a local nickname for Worcester, offers more than underground music. It’s close to several universities — ideal for commuter students and professionals seeking continuing education. As a five-time All-America City Award recipient, this town attracts many tourists. Pioneering in multiple medical fields, internships, and career opportunities abound. 

With its citizens’ average annual salary ($62,740) at $3,200 over the median weekly earnings of full-time workers, it’s difficult to understand how folks can afford a starter home. With most homes under $300,000 at less than 1,000 sq ft, renting makes more sense. Plus, the median monthly rent sits at $1,126 — below the national average.

9. Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI

Largest buildings in Grand Rapids
Image Credit: WMrapids, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Deemed Beer City, USA by USA Today’s Reader’s Choice contest, Grand Rapids-Kentwood is the place to find a good brew. With over 40 craft breweries in a small area, this would be the best place for an epic bar crawl. This region has much more to offer for folks who don’t like beer. Season attractions with harsh Michigan winters make great cold weather fun, from hockey to ice skating.

Tourist attractions aside, this area offers more affordable living, especially with homeownership. With the national median mortgage cost sitting at $1,775, this market stands out. Census data shows median homeowner costs, including mortgages, average $1,426 in this housing market. Not only is this $350 below the national median, but including owner costs for maintenance means the cost of living is lower across the board.

10. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Los Angeles, CA
Image Credit: Marek Masik/Shutterstock.

We all know sunny Los Angeles County. Home to Long Beach and Anaheim, there’s more than coastline and sunshine drawing renters and homebuyers to the area. With Disney Land and nearby corporate offices, Anaheim has many job opportunities across multiple industries. Aside from the House of Mouse, even more chances exist in the greater LA area.

With a much higher median home value ($847,400), the renter-occupied rate is 52%. Renters can’t afford to buy starter homes, and owners want to rake in massive profits. Although the median household income sits over $10,000 above the national average, housing inventory remains low. This may stink for folks looking to buy or build homes, but it’s great for keeping the housing market stable and ripe for developing new housing solutions.

11. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT

Hartford Conn
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Greater Hartford centers around the state’s capital. Supported largely by the insurance industry, this cluster of towns sports over a million citizens. It’s also economically tethered to Springfield, partly due to their proximity. This relationship is largely built on its status as the Knowledge Corridor, representing the Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership.

This commitment to economic development and the prevalence of financial and insurance services infuse both housing markets with remarkable fiscal growth. The state government claims this about the region, “[It’s] the very heart of the third-most educated state in the nation. Companies that begin, or relocate, here are among the fastest growing in the world—able to tap into both a rich manufacturing tradition and a growing technology sector.”

12. Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY

Buffalo New York
Image Credit: Harold Stiver/Shutterstock.

Located just east of Niagara Falls, Buffalo-Cheektowaga offers beautiful natural views and affordable living. One lifelong resident, Julia Fisher, shared the following with us:

“When it came down to buy, I chose Cheektowaga because the property taxes were significantly lower than other local areas, which kept my mortgage lower than the average rent in Buffalo. I also chose Cheektowaga because it’s quite literally in the center of Erie County – access to the I-90 means I’m within 20 minutes of most towns in the area. Not to mention many stores, public spaces, the airport, and the area’s biggest mall are all located in Cheektowaga!”

Low property taxes are a huge incentive. With the median value of owner-occupied housing sitting at two-thirds of the national average, starter homes are still here! That’s all great news for folks looking to buy their first home. 

13. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA

Scranton, Pennsylvania
Image Credit: Christopher Seliga – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

When I think of Scranton, my mind immediately jumps to The Office, but there’s more to this town. Historically, this town set the standard for industrial cities in the 19th century. Today, it’s well-known for its proximity to the Poconos, a popular vacation home and tourist destination for romantic getaways.

Most residents stay put once they buy a home, and honestly, with median house prices of owner-occupied almost half the national average, I’d stay put, too. This housing market might just be for you for a small-town feel with a lot of natural beauty. That, along with the economic stability and affordable housing, is a huge plus.

14. El Paso, TX

El Paso Texas
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Are you surprised by this hub city’s place on the list? I sure am. Although I’m from a populous area in North Texas, I’m familiar with the Panhandle’s isolated cities. I was curious when I saw El Paso in the top 25 emerging house markets.

Affordability is the biggest draw for this city, courtesy of the cost of living being 11% below the national average. Housing costs alone are also 30% below the national average, ideal for first-time homebuyers.

Affordable housing means a strong economy, especially with the nearby Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. Job opportunities and international trade are great for infusing the local economy. Plus, the proximity to natural features like a mountain range means great hiking!

15. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Image Credit: Farragutful – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

If you want a cozy, small-town feel with big-city appeal, this is the city for you! Experience a walkable, bikeable downtown built for lazy Sundays and good weather. But let’s unwrap the real treat — The Hershey Company is based in this region. That bodes well for tourism and jobs, in addition to the sweetness of chocolate permeating the town. Waking up to cocoa in the morning must be nice!

If the chocolate isn’t enough of a draw, this market’s economic stability and elasticity should be. In late spring 2020, its unemployment rate rose to 13% yet dropped to less than half that within a year. That’s much faster than other housing markets.

16. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

Louisville, Kentucky, USA skyline on the river.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Home to many cultural staples of America, Louisville stands out for many reasons. Birthplace of Muhammad Ali, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Kentucky Derby, this housing market offers tons of history. As the largest city in Kentucky and the oldest west of the Appalachians, the Gateway to the South offers even more.

The median owner-occupied home value is $245,700 (25% lower than the national average). This leaves well over 25% of starter-priced homes available from $100,000 to $200,000. Housing affordability bodes well, even with fewer homes ready for move-in. But building a new home costs around $140 per square foot, which adds up fast.

17. Syracuse, NY

Syracuse, New York
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As another region of upstate New York, Syracuse offers dense forest and rich farmland. It’s also close to the Canadian border and just a day’s trip from Buffalo/Niagara Falls. But natural charm aside, there’s the reality of crazy affordable housing prices. With median housing costs just over $190,129, home purchasing isn’t unattainable.

One of the biggest draws from some may be Syracuse University. Between quality education and job opportunities, this city has a healthier-than-average job market. Plus, the average annual salary ($57,990) helps with any wine weekends to the nearby Finger Lakes.

18. Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA

Sacramento California
Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith – Library of Congress Catalog -Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

If you want a break from crowded LA and San Diego counties, visit Roseville and Sacramento. These areas offer more focus on nature and a respite from overpopulated urban centers. With historic neighborhoods and affordable (by California standards) starter homes, buyers have diverse options. The restaurant scene, which is focused on scratch kitchens and fresh ingredients, also brings flavorful dining to locals.

Unfortunately, the cost of living is inflated (double the national median value). The downside is a need for more starter homes. On the upside, the desire to create affordable living means vigorous urban planning

19. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

Miami Beach, Florida
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

With the national unemployment rate at 3.7% and Pompano Beach’s unemployment rate at 2.4%, it’s easy to say their economy is healthy. I know quite a few real estate investors who moved there in the last year or so to capitalize on the housing market’s growth, too. Considering the housing inventory hasn’t peaked since 2019, until recently, it looks like things are bouncing back as new construction surges.

Housing data aside, Miami has various cultural features like dancing, music, and food. That all comes together for a bustling nightlife with some of the best dance spots and clubs on the East Coast. For those disinterested in big-city living, there are plenty of coastal burbs to explore in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach.

20. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
Image Credit: Bellagio Hotel and Casino.

Everyone thinks of Las Vegas as a party city, and they’re not wrong about that. Some of the best clubs and interactive venues are based here. But there’s more than “sin” to this city. It’s easy to overlook the beautiful Red Rock Canyon and all its hiking and rock climbing. Plus, for folks interested in stargazing, you don’t have to go far beyond the city for stellar views.

As a convention city, lots of industry and business partnerships form here. It’s a great place for setting up a branch dedicated to corporate partnerships. The recent spike in homes for sale indicates stimulated development — ideal for buyers and sellers alike.

What It Takes To Stand out in the Market

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Each housing market on this list shows economic growth for various reasons. Job availability and housing inventory drive prices higher or lower, stabilizing or growing a market. Expected sales, based on inflation and household income, make a huge difference in each area’s financial growth.

Job growth bodes well for homeownership. As employment rises, so does income, as employers get competitive with hiring. Higher median salaries allow for more spending and increase the number of prospective home buyers. All of these things combine to elevate


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