Jan 10, 2024 - Business

Rust Belt's new shine: Zillow predicts 2024's hottest real estate markets

us map with top 10 hottest real estate markets numbered and listed

Map: Zillow

The Rust Belt has a new shine.

Driving the news: Buffalo, Cincinnati and Cleveland are expected to be among 2024's hottest housing markets, according to a new Zillow forecast.

  • The South, Midwest and Great Lakes regions are expected to thrive compared to the rest of the U.S., because of their relative affordability.

Why it matters: It's fresh evidence of America's new influence frontiers. Thanks to our wired world and COVID-era trends, the country's centers of power and jobs have spread out from the coastal bubbles.

State of play: Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Providence, Rhode Island; Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Orlando, Florida; and Tampa, Florida, also top this year's ranking of Zillow's hottest housing markets of 2024.

  • Meanwhile, New Orleans, San Antonio, Denver, Houston and Minneapolis sit at the bottom.

Driving the news: Buffalo and the other hottest markets of the year are projected to have strong demand, steady home values, rising homeownership rates and job growth, per the report.

  • On the flip side, home values — and in some cases homeownership rates — are expected to drop in not-hot markets.

What they're saying: "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," Zillow data scientist Anushna Prakash says.

  • The projected typical home value in Buffalo is $248,445, compared to the U.S. average of $347,415, per Zillow data.

Of note: Experts expect it to be another slow year in housing for everyone, with still-high mortgage rates pricing many out of buying — or selling.

The intrigue: Texas markets hat have long been hot are expected to cool in 2024. Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio have slipped significantly since 2023.

  • San Antonio and Austin are two of three major U.S. metros where inventory has improved since the pandemic, and that supply should keep prices cool in 2024, even if demand grows, Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud tells Axios.
  • Yes, but: Home prices are still wildly more expensive than pre-pandemic. They've risen 34% in San Antonio and 44% in Dallas, Bachaud notes.
  • Even a slight dip in home prices could bring relief to Lone Star buyers.

Bottom line: The South, Midwest and Great Lakes regions are expected to thrive compared to the rest of the U.S., because of their relative affordability.

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