First-Time Buyers To Influence Top Housing Markets In 2024

First-time buyers are clinging to the dream of homeownership despite ongoing market challenges, creating opportunities for relatively affordable markets to explode in 2024.

That’s according to’s 2024 Top Housing Markets forecast, which identifies ten metros primed for increased home sales and listing prices in the new year.

The top markets, listed in order from number one, are Toledo, OH; Oxnard, CA; Rochester, NY; San Diego CA; Riverside, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Springfield, MA; Worcester, MA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Los Angeles, CA.

“Now that we’re seeing the beginning of an affordability turnaround, homebuyers are still looking for markets where they can capitalize on lower prices,” said Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Even in some of the more expensive markets, we’ll see double-digit sales growth as sales start to rebound from their historic lows, helped by mortgage rates which are expected to finally relent.”

The Midwestern and Northeastern winners don’t come as a surprise considering their relative affordability compared to pandemic boomtowns in the West and South, which saw prices balloon. All five markets in these regions, minus Worcester, have median listing prices lower than the national average.

Climate-related disasters are another factor that may be boosting their sales. Millennial and Gen Z buyers are the most likely to consider flood and fire risks when buying a home, driving some away from former hotspots in the South and West. Millennials make up just under half of all first-time buyers.

California’s dominance may leave market watchers scratching their heads, however, given the state’s notorious priciness. notes that these metros are all in Southern CA, which it expects will perform better than the state as a whole.

At issue are downswings in these areas over the last few years. These metros are expected to see explosive growth relative to the extreme lows they’re currently experiencing. 

First-time buyers have been saving approximately $800 a month for about two years in anticipation of entering the market.

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