Top Emerging U.S. Housing Markets in Fall 2023

housing market
Row of modern homes in California | Image by JazK2

Housing market activity is accelerating in mid-sized markets across the United States as prospective homebuyers remain laser-focused on affordability and getting more for less.

The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com published a joint report on October 25 showcasing the top emerging housing markets in the United States for the third quarter of 2023.

The report identified a number of returning markets from the summer season, but most housing activity for the fall season has been focused on the eastern part of the United States.

“Though the cost of purchasing a home has stabilized or fallen in some areas, low-priced locales have gained in popularity, leading to accelerating price growth,” the report states.

The emerging market with the most growth was Topeka, Kansas, which Realtor.com claims “offers home shoppers the amenities of a Capitol city at a more affordable price point.”

The next two emerging markets identified in the report were Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, and Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin, both of which offer lower-cost living, strong employment, and convenient commutes.

“The housing market has not yet made significant strides towards affordability, and as a result, Fall 2023’s emerging markets continue to lean heavily on outright or relative affordability,” the report states.

Higher mortgage rates and home prices were responsible for the sluggish housing spell over the summer, but listing prices have started gaining momentum. Despite the uptick in buyer competition and the resulting increase in home prices, 15 of the “Fall 2023 Top 20 Emerging Housing Markets” identified in the report were priced lower than September’s national median of $430,000.

Even with housing activity slowing nationally, economists at Realtor.com say that demand in affordable locales is “keeping inventory conditions tight” and “price growth strong.”

Overall, the main trends identified in the report were: shoppers are looking to get more for less, mid-sized markets are gaining popularity, home shoppers are browsing out-of-market for deals, and demand for housing is still outpacing inventory growth.

Dallas, for instance, has one of the worst housing shortages in the country. The situation has not been alleviated much by the city’s Development Services Department, which has seen periodic permitting delays and backlogs under City Manager T.C Broadnax.

Here is a list of the top 20 metros with emerging housing markets for Fall 2023.

  1. Topeka, Kansas
  2. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana
  3. Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin
  4. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  5. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana
  6. Racine, Wisconsin
  7. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
  8. Concord, New Hampshire
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. Johnson City, Tennessee
  11. Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia
  12. Jefferson City, Montana
  13. Springfield, Ohio
  14. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California
  15. Dayton, Ohio
  16. Janesville-Beloit, Wisconsin
  17. Canton-Massillon, Ohio
  18. Knoxville, Tennessee
  19. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut
  20. Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut

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