BAM Key Details: 

  • Zillow released its top 10 list of the hottest real estate markets for 2024, and Buffalo, New York sits at number one, followed by other relatively affordable metro areas.
  • While housing affordability looks to be on the road to recovery, it remains the primary driving force in the 2024 housing market. 

Zillow has announced its 10 hottest markets for 2024. And this year, Buffalo, NY, takes the lead, followed by Cincinnati, Columbus, and a train of other relatively affordable U.S. metros. 

Conspicuously absent are pricey coastal metros like San Francisco, Boston, and NYU. Because while housing affordability is slowly improving, it’s still the number one driver of the housing market, bringing lower-cost markets to the top of Zillow’s ranking. 

Those are the markets where Zillow anticipates the most growth in 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. I’m cautiously optimistic that the housing market will get back on stable footing in 2024 — we shouldn’t see the massive price spikes of the early pandemic or fast-rising mortgage rates of recent years.

Anushna Prakash

Data scientist for Zillow Economic Research

Zillow-Hottest-housing -markets-of-2024-map

Source: Zillow

Zillow’s ranking for 2024

To identify its top 10 markets, Zillow ranked the 50 most populous U.S. metros based on the following key indicators: 

  • Zillow’s projections for local home value growth
  • Days on market—i.e., the speed at which home listings go under contract
  • Job growth per new home permitted
  • Growth in owner-occupied households 

Buffalo rose to the top for job growth, reporting the highest number of new jobs per new home permitted, which translates as expected buyer demand. New jobs typically means new residents and, consequently, more demand for housing. That drives up competition for available homes and, assuming demand exceeds supply, drives up prices for those homes—unless new construction can keep up with the increase in demand. 

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, OH, housing inventory is going under contract extremely quickly. And Columbus is where Zillow’s housing experts anticipate the fastest rise in owner-occupied households.

Affordability is the #1 driver of the 2024 housing market

Record-high housing costs for both homebuyers and renters in 2023 made buying and selling a home an expensive undertaking. So, it’s not surprising that homebuyers are still leaning heavily toward relatively affordable markets in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and South regions of the U.S.

While housing affordability should continue to improve this year, it remains the primary driver of the U.S. housing market. 

Buyer competition is already strong in the affordable Midwest and Great Lakes markets. Homes listed in these areas are spending fewer days on market compared to the national average. 

Now at number seven on the list, Charlotte, NC, was Zillow’s hottest market for 2023. Cleveland, OH, and Atlanta, GA, likewise remain among the top 10. But San Antonio, TX, which ranked 13th in 2023—and fourth in 2022—fell to number 49 on this year’s list. 

Top 10 hottest markets for 2024:

  1. Buffalo, NY
  2. Cincinnati, OH
  3. Columbus, OH
  4. Indianapolis, IN
  5. Providence, RI
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. Charlotte, NC
  8. Cleveland, OH
  9. Orlando, FL
  10. Tampa, FL

Read the full press release for more information.