Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

The 10 Hottest Housing Markets This Year Might Surprise You

Homebuyers are looking beyond the usual metropolitan areas

spinner image Aerial view of a neighborhood in South Buffalo, NY
Buffalo, New York
James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo

With housing prices hitting record highs in 2023, many people are widening their search to more-affordable housing markets. The latest one to top the list of places homebuyers are likely to flock: Buffalo, New York.

Real estate marketplace company Zillow ranks the hottest, most in-demand housing markets yearly, and places Buffalo at the top of the list in 2024. It's one of seven cities that weren't on the ranking list last year.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

For 2024, Cincinnati came in at No. 2; Columbus, Ohio, at No. 3; and Indianapolis; and Providence, Rhode Island, rolled in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively.

Last year's top market, Charlotte, North Carolina, dropped to No. 7, and Cleveland dropped from No. 2 in 2023 to No. 8 on this year's list. Atlanta climbed from No. 9 in 2023 to No. 6 this year.

Zillow also included Orlando and Tampa in Florida (ranked Nos. 9 and 10, respectively), which also didn't make last year's cut.

Who is doing the buying? Zillow’s report says boomers ages 60 to 69, and millennials ages 28 to 43, are two of the most active demographics in the housing market.  

Affordable housing is top of mind for people 50 and older who are living on a fixed income, according to a 2023 report published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. In 2021, nearly 11.2 million older adults (65 and older) spent more than 30 percent of their household income on housing costs, the report says.

Zillow predicts affordability will improve this year but will continue to be a deciding factor in where people buy houses.  

In Buffalo, the typical home value is estimated at $248,445, with the average mortgage payment at $1,792 — the second most affordable in Zillow’s top 10 list. (Cleveland is No. 1). Zillow’s No. 5 pick, Providence, is the most expensive on the list, boasting an average $455,609 home value and $3,288 average mortgage payment. The average home value in the U.S. was $346,048 as of Jan. 10.  

Zillow’s ranking includes the nation’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas and takes into account the following, according to its news release: the company’s forecast for home value growth and how quickly sellers have contracts with buyers. Zillow also considered the number of new jobs compared with the number of new homes as well as the number of homeowners. The company determines its ranking using a combination of publicly available housing data, labor statistics and surveys.

View Zillow’s full report for more details.

Here are the hottest housing markets this year:

  1. Buffalo, New York
  2. Cincinnati
  3. Columbus, Ohio
  4. Indianapolis
  5. Providence, Rhode Island
  6. Atlanta
  7. Charlotte, North Carolina
  8. Cleveland
  9. Orlando, Florida
  10. Tampa, Florida

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?