Midwestern metros were among the hottest real estate markets according to realtor.com’s rankings of the hottest real estate markets of September, with Fort Wayne, Indana, coming in at No. 1 for the third-consecutive month.
Realtor.com’s found that nearly half of the top-20 markets are in the Midwest, with price-conscious buyers moving to the market. Seven are in the West, and the South and Northeast each have two.
Realtor.com said affordability was the common theme among the top-20 metros. The report found 13 of the top-20 metros have a median-listing price lower than the national average. The top five have average list prices that are 32% less than the national average.
"Demand for homes remains really high as a result of consumer confidence and a growing population of millennials," said Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com. “Low mortgage rates help, too. Making the purchase decision is easier now than it was before.”
Vivas called Fort Wayne a “hidden gem,” as it is bringing in buyers who are priced out of larger metros such as Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; and Detroit, Michigan.
Following Fort Wayne was Rochester, New York, at No. 2 and Pueblo, Colorado, at No. 3. Pueblo was ranked No. 1 in September 2018, with Rochester at No. 2.
The metro that reported the largest jump was Janesville-Beloit, Wisconsin, which jumped from No. 75 last year to No. 8 in the latest rankings.
Burlington, North Carolina, came in at No. 11 this year after being tied for second in September 2018.
Realtor.com added that while homes in the top-20 markets sell faster, 12 of them are seeing homes stay on the market for longer when compared to 2018. The biggest slowdowns were in Stockton, California (seven days); Dayton, Ohio (six days); and Vallejo, California (five days).
California metros, including San Jose and Sacramento, reported a decline in the number of homes for sale. Scarcity, according to realtor.com, tends to drive prices up, making buyers move quicker.