New data shows that the top real estate housing markets in 2024 may fall into one of two categories: expensive cities in western metropolitan areas that saw big sales declines in 2023 or affordable midwestern and northeastern towns.
Industry economists with the real estate company Realtor.com ranked the largest 100 metros by their summed expected sale and price growth rates and published it in their 2024 National Housing Forecast.
They found that eight metropolitan areas are predicted to break double-digit sales growth in 2024.
These metro areas exist in predominantly expensive markets in the West, which saw large sales declines in 2023. These metros are Oxnard, CA; Toledo, OH; Riverside, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Las Vegas, NV; San Diego, CA; Springfield, MA; and Sacramento, CA.
A house is seen with a "For Sale" sign in Pasadena, California. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)
However, Toledo stands out as the only market on the list that is projected to do better than the average home sales count during pre-pandemic times.
All other metros are expected to see sales in 2024 at levels not only below the heightened activity of 2021-2022, but also below the pre-pandemic period of 2017-2019, according to the analysis.
The top 10 metropolitan areas for expected sales growth in 2024
- Toledo, Ohio
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.
- Rochester, New York
- San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, Calif.
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
- Bakersfield, Calif.
- Springfield, Mass.
- Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut
- Grand Rapids-Kentwood, Mich.
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.
You can see the full list here.
Realtor.com economists note several factors that are drawing buyers to the Midwest and Northeast, including affordability. Most of the metros listed on Realtor.com's top 10 metropolitan areas had median list prices below the national average.
The top housing markets in these regions "also exhibit a degree of insulation from the impact of higher mortgage rates," according to the Realtor.com report. This is due in large part to a higher proportion of homeowners residing in housing units without a mortgage.
Toledo, Ohio may be the hottest housing market of 2024
Affordability reigns in Toledo.
As of October 2023, Toledo’s median home listing price was 51.6% lower than the national median home price, according to the data.
The region offers a cost-effective housing market with a range of options, making it appealing to first-time buyers and families alike. Toledo is also known for its welcoming and close-knit communities, where residents can enjoy a high quality of life without the high cost of living found in larger cities.
Southern California looks more sunny in 2024
Five Southern California metros entered the company’s top 10 list of housing markets.
The top five Californian metros included Oxnard, San Diego, Riverside, Bakersfield and Los Angeles.
These five metros are expected to have sales growth of 13.1%, on average, in 2024, compared to an average decline of 4.1% for other Californian metros in the largest 100 list.
Tempering this good news, these top California metros are still predicted to have historically low sales levels despite large improvements over depressed 2023 numbers.
Mirroring national figures expected to total roughly 25% below 2017-2019 norms, sales in these Californian metros are also expected to be 20% to 35% lower than the typical pre-pandemic year in 2017 to 2019.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.