Things Are Heating Up Early in the Hottest Markets…

Things Are Heating Up Early in the Hottest Markets for Real Estate in April 2021

Summer vacation, here we come! With June insight and states opening up across the country, real estate activity is buzzing—especially in the Northeast and Midwest, where buyers are jumping fully into the market earlier than usual, according to the latest analysis of® data.

Looking at how quickly homes sell and which metros’ listings are viewed the most on our site gives us a picture of which markets are the hottest in the nation. And for the month of April, five of the top 10 markets were in the Midwest.

“The Midwest is the area where we see really strong seasonal patterns because those markets cool off more dramatically than other markets do in the winter,” notes Chief Economist Danielle Hale. Buyers there typically wait till it warms up more—say, in June—to really get going. But of course, this is no typical year when it comes to real estate.

This year, the combination of low mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a large group of people at the typical first-time homebuyer age has spurred real estate activity to new heights. Affordability is also a factor—in all but one of the eight  Midwestern metros in the top 20, the median home list price was below the national median of $375,000 in April.

Meanwhile, the top two markets remained the same as in March: the New Hampshire metros of Manchester and Concord. Manchester, the state’s largest city, is no stranger to the hottest markets list—it was No. 2 in April 2020. Concord, on the other hand, leaped 22 spots from last year to land at No. 2 this year.

“It’s pure madness,” says Joelle Sturms, a Realtor® with Better Homes & Gardens, Masiello Group, in Concord. “I’ve been doing real estate for 20 years in this area, and I’ve never seen a market like this.”

And by that, she means multiple offers all over the place, and homes selling for tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price. It’s mostly buyers coming in from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York with plenty of cash, she says.

“They almost don’t care what the prices are,” Sturms says. “I feel bad for our local buyers because first-time homebuyers are priced out.”

The median list price for Concord in April was up 8.6% compared with one year earlier.

The lack of available homes across the country has caused headaches for buyers, who find themselves caught in bidding wars. Homeowners have been reluctant to list their homes during the pandemic, but as vaccination rates rise, they are easing back into the market. Still, new listings in April were down 25% from the 2017–19 average.

“We’re starting to see sellers come back at least to where they were a year ago, but I fully expect it’s going to continue to be a seller’s market in many parts of the country,” Hale says.

By Cicely Wedgeworth

May 13, 2021