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As housing prices spike, more affordable areas become hot markets

The rising cost of home ownership is driving buyers outside of large city hubs to more affordable areas, including this New York city.
As housing prices spike, more affordable areas become hot markets
Posted at 1:44 PM, Oct 16, 2023

What’s the hottest real estate market in America? The answer may surprise you. 

The Rochester, New York, region was the hottest housing market in August, according to Realtor.com. Located in upstate New York off Lake Ontario, it is closer to Canada than to New York City.

The rising cost of home ownership is driving buyers outside of large city hubs to more affordable areas, the report noted. According to Realtor.com, the median listing price of a home in the United States in August was $435,450. The median listing price of a home in the Rochester, New York, area was $250,000. 

The report on America’s hottest housing markets is determined by competition for housing measured by views of home listings and the number of days a house is on the market.

Nicholas Perlet, an agent with RE/MAX Realty Group in the Greater Rochester region, said that most of his home listings have sold with multiple offers. Some buyers sweeten the offer by removing contingencies such as the right to inspection.

His listing of a 2,200-square-foot Tudor-style home in the city of Rochester priced at $449,000 sold for $561,000 in July. The buyer was from out of town and paid in cash with no contingencies, Perlet said. 

Perlet recently leased a house to a family from Miami who decided they wanted a change from city living. Beyond the lower cost of housing, people are moving to the Rochester region for a slower pace of life and its suburban school districts, Perlet said. 

Mark and Heather Gehan and their two children moved to the Rochester suburb of Brighton from the Seattle area to be closer to family, for lower housing costs and the desirable school district. They purchased a 4,200-square-foot home in a walkable neighborhood for $570,000 in 2020, a home they would not be able to afford in the Seattle area, Mark Gehan said.   

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Fourteen of the top 20 hottest markets in August were below the national median price. Rounding out the top 10 list are: Portland, Maine at $611,000; Manchester and Nashua, New Hampshire, at $557,000; Springfield, Massachusetts, at $374,000; Worcester, Massachusetts, at $499,000; Rockford, Illinois, at $217,000; Columbus, Ohio, at $386,000; Providence, Rhode Island, at $550,000; Concord, New Hampshire, at $578,000; and Dayton, Ohio at $249,000. 

Rockford, the lowest priced market on the list, had a median list price that’s half the national median.

Low inventory of existing homes for sale continues to plague most real estate markets across the country, Realtor.com said in its report. Affordable areas saw heated demand despite rising interest rates. 

This is the second time in the past year that the Rochester region topped the hottest markets list, according to Realtor.com.

Real estate is localized and there are certain areas in the Rochester region that are more in demand, such as the suburbs of Brighton and Pittsford and the southeast area of the city, Perlet said. But sales are up across the board in all areas of the region, he added.    


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