There’s more to look forward to this fall than your favorite sweaters and pumpkin-flavored everything. The fall is a special time for homebuyers, as there are more homes for sale, list prices usually begin their seasonal dip, and there’s less competition from other home shoppers. In fact, it’s often the best time to buy, according to an annual analysis by Realtor.com®.
To be clear, the fall market is still going to be tough for buyers and sellers. Mortgage interest rates are above 7%, and those high rates are exacerbating the housing inventory crisis as fewer sellers are listing their properties. The lack of homes for sale is pushing prices up in much of the country. The price per square foot rose in 133 of the 150 largest real estate markets in August, according to Realtor.com data.
However, there are still some markets where prices are falling. The data team at Realtor.com found these places where buyers can pay less than what they would have last year, as well as those where prices are climbing the most.
To come up with our rankings, we looked at the change in the median list price per square foot for the 50 largest metropolitan areas, comparing August 2023 with August 2022. We included only one metro per state to ensure geographic diversity.
What we learned is the real estate markets where home prices have fallen the most since last year are mostly places that rode the crest of the COVID-19-era price gain wave. Meanwhile, the most affordable sections of the country, the markets where prices didn’t spike as dramatically, are now seeing some of the biggest price gains.
“Among the areas still seeing home prices fall on a per square foot basis, many saw huge gains in the past few years and have reverted back somewhat,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale.
Where prices are falling the most:
- Myrtle Beach, SC (-2.9%)
- Las Vegas, NV (-2.7%)
- Stockton, CA (-2.1%)
- Austin, TX (-2%)
- Phoenix, AZ (-1.2%)
- Ogden, UT (-1.1%)
- Boise, ID (-1.1%)
- Lakeland, FL (-0.9%)
- Honolulu (-0.5%)
- Jackson, MS (-0.1%)
The market with the largest year-over-year price drop in August was Myrtle Beach, SC. The metro is a sprawling vacation area popular with retirees, young families, and those relocating from colder, costlier areas in the Northeast. The 2.9% year-over-year price drop brought the median list price down to $355,784 in August.
Some of the other places on the list—including Phoenix, with a 1.2% price per square foot decline, and Las Vegas, with a 2.7% drop—have tumultuous histories. They were both among the markets with the biggest home value losses in the 2008 housing market crash. These areas have proved to be swingy, with steep price gains during the pandemic and now, leading price declines again.
“Many of these areas, while high-priced when compared to the U.S. median home actually compare favorably with real estate in major California markets,” says Hale. This “made them top destinations for home shoppers over the past several years.”
Where prices are rising the most:
- Naples, FL (+17.1%)
- Albany, NY (+16.9%)
- Fort Wayne, IN (+15.7%)
- Toledo, OH (+15.6%)
- Manchester, NH (+15%)
- Portland, ME (+14.7%)
- Reading, PA (+14.3%)
- Boston (+13.1%)
- Savannah, GA (+12.8%)
- Trenton, NJ (+12.4%)
The places where prices have risen the most over the past year are the same places that have traditionally been the most affordable. This suggests that housing affordability is on the wane.
“In general, the areas where prices moved up the most are affordable Northeastern or Midwestern markets where houses are generally priced lower than the U.S. median,” Hale says.
In markets such as Fort Wayne, IN (No. 3), and Toledo, OH (No. 4), the median list prices of $329,400 and $237,200, respectively, are far below the national median of $435,450 in August 2023. But these havens of affordability are also near the top of our list of price gains over the past year.
The Manchester, NH, market, which includes nearby Nashua, NH, is perennially among the top three in the Realtor.com monthly hottest markets list. It has been at the top of several of our analyses looking at sustained demand and price gains for years. This area is expensive relative to the national median, with homes costing a median of $557,2000—but it is still far more affordable than some of the nearby population hubs, like Boston at a median of $844,200.
If there’s a rule for the current market, it’s that affordability is slipping, and that’s happening most in the places where there still remains some. The one exception is the Naples, FL, metro. The median price in the metro was $845,013 in August.
“Rebuilding from Hurricane Ian in September 2022—and a light brush with Hurricane Idalia in 2023—are likely factoring into price trends,” says Hale.
Those natural disasters can cause prices to swing sharply down and then rebound. Or it could be that buyers are just discovering Naples.
“My family, being East Coast people, we would vacation in Miami or West Palm, FL, and that was it, and those cities are great,” says Dolly Lenz, the CEO and founder of Dolly Lenz Real Estate, with offices in New York and Florida. “Then we found Naples. It’s not so crowded, it’s not as flamboyant. But it’s pristine. The area is beautiful. Everything is well manicured. It’s a safe community. And it’s got a huge food scene. So it just makes sense that people, especially New Yorkers, are finding it.”
Use the table below to see where prices have gone in your area.
By Evan Wyloge | Read the Original Article Here: What’s Happening With Home Prices This Fall? See the Cities Where They’re Rising—and Falling—the Most Now