Waterfront Cities Dominate Zillow’s Hottest Markets for 2024
Homes in these relatively affordable markets sell faster than the national average – in some cases, in as little as 11 days.
Home shoppers looking for affordable homes and a connection to water would do well to scope out the upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions, along with the South, where relatively low prices, job growth and stiff competition have landed more metros onto Zillow’s list of hottest markets for 2024.
“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,” says Zillow® data scientist Anushna Prakash, who conducted the research.
What makes these markets hot?
To come up with the list of hottest markets, Zillow analyzed the 50 largest U.S. metro areas for the following:
- expected home value appreciation from December 2023 through November 2024
- anticipated change in home value appreciation from 2023
- new jobs per new housing unit permitted
- estimates of the net new number of households that own their home
- the speed at which homes are sold
New jobs often attract new residents, along with increasing competition and home prices unless new construction can keep up with the new demand. And rising numbers of owner-occupied households is a sign of family formation and population growth.
Prakash says housing costs reached record highs in 2023, and while affordability could improve in 2024, it’s expected to remain the biggest challenge facing buyers in 2024.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that the housing market will get back on stable footing in 2024,’’ she says. “We shouldn’t see the massive price spikes of the early pandemic or fast-rising mortgage rates of recent years.”
Affordable Great Lakes and Midwest markets are already seeing increased competition for homes, with sellers finding buyers at a faster rate than the national average. Here’s what the forecast looks like for the top 10 hottest.
The top 10 hottest metros for 2024
10. Tampa, FL
The city that brought the world the Twist dance craze still has its dancing shoes on, sliding onto the list in 10th place after topping it two years ago. The diverse economy and the 244 days of sunshine it clocks on average in a year should continue to be a powerful magnet for newcomers this year. Homes in this Gulf Coast city last about 24 days on the market before finding a buyer, and the typical home is worth $375,338, about the same as this time last year. The forecast calls for a 2% increase in home values in 2024.
9. Orlando, FL
Tourism and hospitality are the lifeblood of this centrally located Florida city, home to Disney World and a draw for tens of millions of tourists each year — more than any other place in the U.S., including New York City. Homes here go from listed to pending in about 23 days. Although home values increased year over year in 2023 — pushing the typical home value to $388,048 — values are expected to decline about 1% in 2024.
8. Cleveland, OH
Known for attractions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a theater district that is second in size only to New York City, Cleveland saw a 6% bump in home values in 2023, with the typical home worth $215,597. Values are expected to remain flat this year, even as homes sell quickly. The typical home in this city, perched on the south shore of Lake Erie, goes from listing to pending in a speedy 12 days.
7. Charlotte, NC
Charlotte was dubbed Zillow’s hottest market for 2023, but fell six points to seventh place in this year’s ranking. Celebrated for its outdoor spaces and temperate climate, the “Queen City” is an enthusiastic sports town that has three professional men’s teams and a women’s pro soccer team. The typical home value crept up 1% to $371,844 in 2023. The city also experienced a 5% decline in households who own their home. The market is a competitive one, where homes go pending in about 16 days.
6. Atlanta, GA
Returning from last year’s top 10 list, this storied city, with its rich history in civil rights, vibrant street art and world-famous hip hop culture can feel like a walk in the woods since nearly 50% of metropolitan Atlanta is covered by trees. Atlanta experienced a 5.4% bump in owner households in 2023, while home values increased 2% to $386,122. Compared to some other hot cities, Atlanta home shoppers have a little more time to mull over homes, with the typical home going pending in 26 days.
Atlanta home values
5. Providence, RI
This waterfront city — home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, manages to feel both quaint and sophisticated. Its downtown is graced by a waterfront park with Venice, Italy-style bridges that traverse the Woonasquatucket River. Home values, which reached $455,609 in 2023, logged the largest increase among the top 10 hottest markets, escalating 7%. Values are expected to remain about the same this year, but demand is still robust, with homes going pending in 14 days.
Providence home values
4. Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis is a waterfront city, centrally located in the Hoosier state along the banks of the White River. Internationally known for auto racing, it is home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile long track that is one of the oldest auto racing circuits in the U.S. The largest private employer is the pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly. Homes here are among the most affordable on the hottest list, with the typical home coming in at $268,125, a 2% increase over the previous year. New listings go pending in about 19 days.
Indianapolis home values
3. Columbus, OH
Ohio’s state capital is predicted to see a whopping 11.4% increase in owner-occupied homes, the largest in the nation and a sign of family formation and population growth. Home to The Ohio State University, one of the largest college campuses in the country, the city boasts walkable neighborhoods, downtown parks and trails and charming historic districts. Home values are up to $301,138 — a 5% year-over-year increase, and homes find buyers in about 11 days. In good news for buyers, home values are expected to remain flat in 2024.
2. Cincinnati, OH
The market is a fast-moving one in Cincinnati, where homes go pending in only 11 days. Located in a river valley, surrounded by hills, Cincy is famous for its beer, which is produced by about 50 breweries that call the area home. The city boasts a long list of famous people who were born here, including director Steven Spielberg, actor Doris Day, and three U.S. presidents.
Home values reached $270,826 in 2023, a 5% increase from the previous year; but they’re expected to remain about the same in 2024. Homes go pending in about 11 days.
1. Buffalo, NY
Buffalo is definitely having a moment. After years of population decline, the city is enjoying a renaissance of sorts in both population and city amenities. The city has the highest number of new jobs per new home permitted — a measure of expected housing demand. This city, famous for epic snowstorms and proximity to Niagara Falls, one of the world’s great natural wonders, saw home values grow 5% year over year. The typical home is now worth $248,445, and listings take only two weeks to go pending.