Buffalo Poised to Lead 2024's Housing Market Surge

housing market January 15, 2024

As we move into 2024, a comprehensive analysis reveals that Buffalo, New York, is likely to emerge as the year's most dynamic housing market. This projection is based on a blend of criteria, including anticipated growth in home values, the balance of job growth versus new construction, and shifts in owner-occupied households.

A Look at the Top Contenders

The year 2024 is set to see a strong performance in housing markets with robust economic underpinnings, swift-moving property listings, and a substantial pool of potential buyers, coupled with stable expectations for home values. The Midwest, Great Lakes, and South regions are particularly prominent, with Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Providence leading the charge.

Charlotte, last year's top performer, continues to demonstrate strength, partially due to the forecast of a slight rise in home values. The report predicts that Buffalo will take the lead in the national housing market this year, followed closely by Cincinnati, Columbus in Ohio, Indianapolis, and Providence in Rhode Island. Despite ongoing challenges such as low inventory and elevated mortgage rates, these cities are expected to perform robustly in a somewhat pressured market.

Factors Driving Market Dynamics

  1. Home Value Trends: In 2023, home value growth moderated, influenced heavily by the highest mortgage rates since 2008. Out of the 50 largest markets, only 15 are expected to see growth in home values during 2024. Hartford led the growth last year but is projected to see a notable decrease this year. Buffalo's home values, while expected to drop slightly, still position it as a market leader.

  2. Inventory and Market Velocity: The influx of new listings slowed in 2023, leading to low inventory levels. Markets like Hartford, Cincinnati, and Columbus experienced rapid sales, indicating continued high demand in 2024.

  3. Demographic Shifts: Baby boomers and millennials, both significant demographics in the housing market, are impacting trends. Boomers are staying active in the market, while millennials are entering their prime home-buying years. Columbus is anticipated to see the most significant increase in homeownership, while markets like Birmingham, San Diego, and Oklahoma City may face demographic challenges.

Conversely, cities like New Orleans, San Antonio, Denver, Houston, and Minneapolis might experience cooler market conditions, characterized by declining home values and a reduction in owner-occupied households.

Methodology Insight

The analysis methodology encompassed several key data points:

  • Forecasted home value appreciation by November 2024.
  • Velocity of home value appreciation.
  • Average listing duration per home.
  • Employment growth relative to residential building permits.
  • Projected change in owner-occupied households.

This data was normalized and weighted based on housing unit counts, with outliers capped to maintain balance. The index represents an average of these metrics, with some factors like housing price acceleration slightly down-weighted.

In summary, as we navigate through 2024, Buffalo stands out as the potential leader in a market characterized by varying regional dynamics, demographic shifts, and economic factors. This insight provides a valuable perspective for stakeholders in the real estate industry.

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