The housing market may be on the upswing, but there are still pockets of the country where sellers are seeing their homes not only close quickly, but also command higher prices than last year.
In fact, while time spent on the market increased year over year for most cities, that time arrived five cities –
Davenport, Iowa, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York, Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana and Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, Connecticut — according to a Realtor.com analysis.
On average, homes spent a few days less than 10 weeks on the market in February. That’s higher than in February 2022, when homes spent about six and a half weeks on the market.
“Affordability is a key factor in markets experiencing more activity, which puts smaller markets in the Midwest and South at the top of the list when it comes to areas where sellers still have advantages,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale told USA TODAY.
THE HOUSING MARKET:‘Will live with blue and green tiles’: Home buyers compromise to calm the housing market
HOME PRICES:Millionaires are no longer rowing: the number of houses costing seven figures nationally is falling
MORTGAGE PRICES:Homebuyers are once again retreating to the sidelines as higher prices squeeze affordability
As buyers and sellers gear up for the upcoming spring market, sellers who list their homes a little earlier will have an advantage, Hale says.
“Some will tell you that the spring market begins in January, when hopeful homebuyers armed with resolutions get going early in the year. The number of buyers for each home listing is at its peak from January through April,” says Hale. “However, the bulk of home sales tend to come a little later in the spring, as home sellers deliver the necessary inventory in what you might call the heart of the spring market. In fact, May is typically the month when more sellers put their homes on the market .”
This year, Hale believes the timeline for sales has moved up.
“We identify April 16-22 as the ideal time to list across several key metrics that signal market balance, including home prices, number of homes for sale, time on market and buyer traffic,” says Hale.
It is here that homes are sold faster than in most of the country, and where the price per square meter has increased the most annually, according to the report.
The list is limited to only one subway per state to ensure geographical diversity.
1. Davenport, Iowa
February median list price: $208,700
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meters: +38.4%
With an average listing price just under $209,000 in February, Davenport homes cost about half the national median list price of $414,950, according to the latest Realtor.com data.
Prices are up almost 40% compared to the same time last year. On top of that, homes are selling faster now than they did a year ago.
2. Montgomery, Alabama
February median list price: $301,165
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meter: +26.5%
Home prices in Alabama’s capital, Montgomery, are still well below the national average.
These lower prices have attracted California’s interest. Two-thirds of all web traffic to listings in the city comes from out of state, mostly from Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay Area, where prices can be three to four times higher, according to Realtor.com.
3. Wichita, Kansas
February median list price: $319,995
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meter: +19.8%
Wichita, home to companies such as Airbus, Learjet and Cessna, now the nation’s aviation capital.
Among all the cities on the list, Wichita has seen the largest increase in price per square foot since mid-2022, a time when many markets began to see prices stagnate or tick down. The median listing price in Wichita is up 17.5% since last June.
4. Tulsa, Oklahoma
February median list price: $354,262
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meters: +18.5%
Like Wichita, Tulsa has experienced a significant price bug since mid-2022, when other markets ran out of steam. Since June 2022, the price per square meter has increased by 13%.
However, prices have remained quite reasonable in Tulsa compared to the rest of the country. It was named one of the best places for middle-class homebuyers by Realtor.com. And the city has some of the most affordable mansions in the country.
Tulsa has particularly strong buyer interest from out of state, especially from Chicago, where home prices are about 17% higher, and Dallas, where home prices are about 22% higher, according to demand data tracked by Realtor.com.
5. Youngstown, Ohio
February median list price: $151,575
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meters: +18.1%
Located about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Youngstown is by far the least expensive metro on this ranking. The Rust Belt town fell on hard times as the steel mills closed and many residents left the area. But the area is now gaining interest from buyers looking for cheap real estate.
Lack of inventory here puts sellers in a better position as buyers are forced to compete for what is available.
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
February median list price: $434,950
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meters: +17.1%
Minneapolis is a big city, but without the much larger price tag that usually comes with them, Hale says.
In fact, until just the last few months, the average home price in Minneapolis was below the national median.
Right now, Minneapolis also ties the lowest number of days listings spend on the market. The average listing in Minneapolis spends about 7 weeks on the market, about three weeks less than the national average.
7. McAllen, Texas
February median list price: $283,000
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meter: +16.4%
Home prices in the McAllen metro area, which abuts the U.S.-Mexico border near the southern tip of Texas, continue to rise despite housing market challenges.
McAllen offers a stark contrast to the state capital of Austin, where home prices have skyrocketed over the past several years but have recently seen one of the sharpest declines in home prices – a 15% median drop in listing price since the peak last April .
8. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
February median list price: $322,400
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meter: +16.1%
Harrisburg, which is about an hour and 20 minutes north of Baltimore and nearly two hours northwest of Philadelphia, continues to see plenty of demand from people coming from various parts of the country, especially New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, according to Realtor .com
9. Little Rock, Arkansas
February median list price: $304,245
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meters: +15.9%
The metro area surrounding Arkansas’ capital, Little Rock, had some of the biggest home price increases in the country last year, according to a Realtor.com analysis. It also tied with Minneapolis for the lowest average number of days spent on the market, at just a hair more than seven weeks.
10. Knoxville, Tennessee
February median list price: $457,116
Year-on-year increase in the price per square meters: +13.0%
Real estate prices in this city, home to the University of Tennessee, have continued to rise. That sets it apart from nearby, more expensive Nashville, where prices are down about 4% from their peak in June 2022, according to Realtor.com. The median home listing price in Nashville was around $510,000 in February.
Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy is the housing and economics correspondent for USA TODAY. You can follow her on Twitter @SwapnaVenugopal and subscribe to our Daily Money newsletter here.