For proof, look no further than the Realtor.com® June roundup of the Hottest Housing Markets. This month, the Hartford, CT, metropolitan area tops the list, followed by hottest markets stalwarts Manchester, NH, Concord, NH, Springfield, MA, Portland, ME, Worcester, MA, Norwich, CT, New Haven, CT, and Boston at #20.
To make the “hottest” list, a metro area must have more page views on Realtor.com and a faster selling pace than in other regions.
“Affordability is still very much front and center,” says Hannah Jones, economics data analyst at Realtor.com. That’s especially true as mortgage rates are hovering around 7%, stretching the budgets of plenty of would-be buyers.
“We’re also seeing that many homeowners currently have mortgage rates below the market, so they’re not interested in selling,” adds Jones. “That means a lot of what’s available is outside of the price range of many buyers.”
The median-priced home in the Hartford metro area was $429,000 in June, below the national median of $445,000. Real estate in the capital of Connecticut costs far less than in Boston, about a 90-minute drive northeast without traffic. The median list price in the Boston metro was about $864,000 in June.
Prices in Manchester and Concord are higher than in Hartford, at $521,000 and $565,000, respectively. Still, they’re much more accessible than the pricey Boston metro.
“In a city as dense as Boston, at some point you hit capacity, and it’s hard to keep expanding and bringing in more people,” Jones says. “It becomes infeasible for many residents, so they look elsewhere for a little more bang for the buck.”
That’s what’s drawing them to the nation’s hottest (and often more affordable) markets.
House hunters are drawn to more than just the lower prices but also the lifestyle. “They’re looking for a place to raise families,” she says. “Younger buyers are looking for a place where they can walk to the center and dine outside, meet their friends, have lovely parks to go to.”
Proximity to Boston means you can still easily visit the city for events, concerts, cultural activities, and shopping whenever you want. Boston’s Logan Airport is a major hub for domestic and international flights, accommodating millions of travelers annually.
New England has beautiful beaches, lakes, and many lovely outdoor places. That includes the Atlantic Ocean and multiple state and national forests and parks, all within an hour’s drive of each of the eight metro areas.
It’s anyone’s guess how long the “hottest” metro areas will remain affordable and thus desirable. On average, the metros in this month’s hottest list have seen prices charge higher by 16.1% over the past year, even as the national median price has dipped.
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