“From charming coastal towns to bustling tech hubs, the top 20 emerging housing markets are not only offering affordable options this fall but also promising an exciting blend of opportunity and community for prospective homeowners.”
The top emerging housing markets in America this fall are characterized by affordability. According to the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index, the No. 1 market is Topeka, KS, with a median home list price of just $250,000 and a low unemployment rate. With high inflation, home prices, and mortgage rates, buyers are looking for affordable options.
The index considered various factors such as housing demand, property taxes, median days homes sit on the market, and robust economies. These emerging markets also offer desirable amenities and reasonable commutes to work. Most of the top 20 markets are located in the Midwest, with three of the top five in Indiana.
While home prices in these markets are still relatively low, they are rising quickly. In September, prices increased by an average of 19% year over year, compared to 9.5% nationally. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, prices have surged by 69% compared to 47% nationally.
Topeka, in particular, offers affordable options for buyers. Buyers can find three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes within the city limits for less than $200,000. The area has seen an influx of people relocating from more expensive areas, attracted by the lower cost of living and job opportunities. Additionally, homes in Topeka cost about 40% less than in nearby Kansas City, MO.
Not all homes on the list are cheap, with some markets having prices above the national median list price. However, these homes are still more affordable compared to neighboring cities. For example, homes in Manchester and Concord, New Hampshire had prices above $500,000, but were significantly cheaper than homes in Boston.
The one outlier on the list was the Santa Maria metro in California, which includes Santa Barbara. This wealthy area attracts international buyers who may not be as impacted by affordability constraints.
Overall, these emerging housing markets provide buyers with affordable options amidst rising home prices and mortgage rates. They offer a lower cost of living, job opportunities, and desirable amenities.