With spring home buying season kicking off in earnest, you may be wondering which markets would be the best for you to buy a house in. However, it may not exactly be easy to find a good home at an affordable price, what with prices still on an upward trajectory and moving too quick for many consumers to keep up with.
“We are now firmly in the time of the year when peak demand and peak inventory levels typically occur, through spring and early summer,” said Realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke, prefacing a blog post on the real estate portal. “Buyers should expect substantial competition, especially in the hottest markets, and for affordably priced homes within most markets.” In simpler terms, this means many other consumers will want to have dibs on those affordable homes, as many other fence-sitters may be wanting to test the water this spring.
Realtor.com based its list of top twenty housing markets for March 2015 on website traffic and searches – the site claims that it had the highest number of unique visitors last month, as there were over 50 percent more page views and 40 percent more searches than there were in March 2014. And with that said, it was Waco, TX on top of the list, followed by New Orleans, Ann Arbor, Denver, Santa Rosa, CA, Fort Wayne, IN, Vallejo, CA, San Diego, Columbus, OH, and Detroit rounding out the top ten.
Other markets included in the top twenty were Manchester, NH, Boston, Austin, Boulder, CO, Springfield, IL, Charleston, WV, Pittsburgh, Tampa, College Station, TX, and Lansing, MI. Most of these cities were on Realtor.com’s top twenty list for February, while New Orleans was the highest “new entry” for the month. Like Austin, Pittsburgh, and Tampa, the “Big Easy” is considered an affordable market with a growing housing market.
You’ll also want to act fast, as Realtor.com pointed out that median list prices for homes zoomed up by 11 percent year-over-year, and 3 percent month-over-month in March. The median number of days homes stayed on market fell 13 percent on-year to only 89 days. Inventory, sadly, ticked up by just 2 percent from February, and is still a bit lower on a year-over-year basis. And homes are going particularly fast in California, where San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa topped Realtor.com’s list of cities where homes stay on market the shortest.