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What Real Estate Slowdown? In These 10 U.S. Cities, Homes Are Actually Selling Faster Than Last Year

realtor.com October 22, 2023


What Real Estate Slowdown? In These 10 U.S. Cities, Homes Are Actually Selling Faster Than Last Year

The housing market may have slowed—but many buyers across the U.S. are still racing to close deals.

Call it a perfect storm, a classic squeeze play, or maybe just one wildly stressed marketplace. But the unique combo of mortgage rates shooting up to their highest point in a generation, a near-historic lack of available homes on the market, along with the resiliency of some buyers eager to find a way into homeownership no matter what, has led to the pace of homebuying picking up in many parts of the country.

What’s going on? Those who can still afford to purchase a home are in a rush to beat the competition.

Nationally, the median home listing was on the market for 49 days in the first week of October, according to a Realtor.com® analysis. That’s just a bit less than the same time last year. But we identified the places where homes are selling significantly faster than they were a year ago—places where buyers do not have the luxury of time and sellers can often expect to turn around a quick transaction.

Our list is a grab bag of places, with a mix of affordable and high-priced markets, spanning from the Northeast to the Southwest. There are the Rust Belt cities of  Buffalo, NY, and Cleveland, where home prices are well below the national average and buyers are closing deals within two months. Some pricier markets, such as Oxnard, CA, and Bridgeport, CT, are also seeing homes move more quickly.

“Despite affordability challenges causing a dip in the demand for homes, there’s still a pool of eager homebuyers looking for a good deal while navigating a low inventory of available homes,” Realtor.com economic data manager Sabrina Speianu noted in her recent market report.

Climbing mortgage rates sent shivers down the spines of prospective buyers as well as wannabe sellers—who typically become buyers themselves once they sell. Many potential sellers have been reluctant to list because they don’t want to trade their low rates for higher ones. This was the case when interest rates were still approaching 7% a year ago. Now rates are above 7.5% with some prognosticators saying they could hit 8%.

And yet appropriately priced homes in desirable locations are still selling briskly, according to local real estate agents.

“People are finally wrapping their heads around these high rates,” says Matthew Roland, the assistant dean at the University of Buffalo’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

To find the housing markets where homes are selling briskly, we looked at the median days on the market in the first week of October in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. We compared those figures with a year earlier. We selected only the metro with the largest decline in each state to provide geographical diversity. (Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas.)

Thought the U.S. real estate market was slowing to a crawl? Not in these places!

1. Buffalo, NY
Buffalo, NY


Median list price: $239,900
Median days on the market: 50
Year-over-year change in median days: 13 days faster

The housing market in the Buffalo metro area has experienced a surge in recent months. Homes have been selling almost two weeks faster than they did a year ago, more than any other metro in the nation.

Buyers are worried rates will continue to go up, says Roland.

“Buyers are thinking, ‘I need to make an offer either the day a home goes on the market or soon after, so I can get my home and lock in a rate before it goes up,'” he says.

Homes in Buffalo are about $200,000 less than the national median of $429,500 in September, according to Realtor.com data.  Inventory here is extremely tight.

Roland hopes that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates and that mortgage rates will follow in the same direction.

“Then hopefully, we see added inventory,” he says. “But again, it’s going to take six months to a year at least to where we’re adding inventory.”

2. Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ

(Getty Images)

Median list price: $475,000
Median days on the market: 78
Year-over-year change in median days: 13 days faster

Despite stifling desert heat from May through September (and sometimes beyond), the Phoenix metro has been one of America’s fastest-growing regions for years. And that torrid home sale pace has lately accelerated: Phoenix homes are selling almost two weeks faster than one year ago.

Why have people flocked to Phoenix?

“We have no earthquakes. We have no tornadoes. We have no hurricanes. We have no snowstorms,” says Kristy Ryan, a Realtor® at Re/Max Fine Properties in Scottsdale.

Ryan does acknowledge the area’s brutal summer heat. “You do need a good AC unit in your house. But as long as you have that, you’re set.”

Luxury homes are actually selling faster than those priced below $1 million, Ryan says.

“You have more cash buyers” in the luxury market, she says. Those buyers don’t have to worry about higher mortgage rates since they’re not taking out loans.

“So that part of the market is a little more active, even though it’s a much smaller pool,” she adds.

3. Oxnard, CA
Oxnard, CA


Median list price: $875,000
Median days on the market: 57
Year-over-year change in median days: 11 days faster

Situated right on the Pacific, near where Southern California becomes Central California, is the Oxnard metro. It includes Thousand Oaks and Ventura. The area is known for its beautiful beaches, which are typically less crowded than those to the south, as well as its thriving agricultural industry.

Homes are selling briskly in the metro for more than they did last year—the median list price is 7% higher than a year ago.

Yet, it’s still significantly less than in the Los Angeles metro area, about 60 miles east, where the median list price was $1,175,000 in September.

For $469,000, buyers can find a top-floor, one-bedroom condo with waterfront views in the Channel Islands Harbor community. In Ventura, this two-bedroom, single-family home is listed for $600,000.

4. Boise, ID
Boise, ID

(Getty Images)

Median list price: $519,900
Median days on the market: 72
Year-over-year change in median days: 9.5 days faster

The housing market in Boise, known for its close proximity to great outdoor recreation and mild seasons, was turbocharged during the COVID-19 pandemic as people fled dense, coastal population hubs.

When interest rates started to rise, it caused a whiplash of price declines and slowing demand. Home prices declined 15% from their high in the middle of 2022, and the median time on the market went from three weeks at the peak to three months at the nadir. But things have begun to bounce back in recent months.

Now, the median home sale in this metro of 814,000 residents (and still growing fast) is almost 10 days faster than a year ago.

The recent bounce back, says Robert Inman, operations manager at Boise’s Best Real Estate, is just a function of bedrock economics.

“It’s supply and demand. We have a lot more buyers than we do sellers, period,” he says. “It’s way lopsided.”

As the market heads out of the busiest season, Inman says, the declining inventory is compounding things.

“Inventory is beginning to dry up again,” Inman says. This means the still-high demand is being absorbed in the form of faster sales and climbing prices. “Homes that are out there are just getting eaten up. There wasn’t much to begin with, and now there’s even less.”

5. Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, NV

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Median list price: $449,999
Median days on the market: 56
Year-over-year change in median days: 9 days faster

The shimmering city in the Nevada desert has long appealed to retirees and those seeking to throw their snow shovel in the dumpster. For just about everyone else, the entertainment, casinos, and low taxes are the big draws.

However, the area is also known for its swingy real estate market, which has seen some of America’s biggest booms and deepest busts.

Like Phoenix, Las Vegas was among the worst hit during the housing crash of 2008. When interest rates began to climb in 2022, the Las Vegas housing market came to a halt. The typical home sat on the market for 80 days before selling, longer than at any point in the past five years.

Now, at around 43 days, Las Vegas homes are selling about a week faster than the national median, and near pre-pandemic levels.

6. Bridgeport, CT
Bridgeport, CT
Bridgeport, CT


Median list price: $795,000
Median days on the market: 74
Year-over-year change in median days: 8 days faster

It’s not exactly a surprise that homes are selling briskly in the Bridgeport metro, about 60 miles northwest of New York City. The tony metro has one of the smallest portions of price reductions and the fewest homes for sale.

The Bridgeport metro includes towns up and down the Long Island Sound, like wealthy Greenwich and Westport. It’s long been an attractive option for those who commute to their New York City office five days a week—and is even more so now with hybrid work flexibility.

It’s also one of the more expensive areas we’ve identified, with a median list price just below $800,000. But with homes selling more than a week faster than one year ago, it’s showing signs of sustained demand in the face of limited supply.

A four-bedroom home on a half-acre with a two-story addition in the rear can be found for $800,000.

7. Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg, PA

(Getty Images)

Median list price: $309,900
Median days on the market: 46
Year-over-year change in median days: 8 days faster

Harrisburg, a metro of about 600,000 in Central Pennsylvania, has the quickest average time-on-market of any place on our list.

“I am definitely letting my sellers know that it’s a good time to list their houses,” says Joy Daniels, broker/owner at Joy Daniels Real Estate Group in Harrisburg. “They can get their home sold more quickly and easier.”

Like other places on our list, Daniels says, the time-on-market figure is a reflection of the limited inventory and still-high demand.

“The number of homes for sale in the Harrisburg area is at a record low, and it’s driving up the competition among buyers,” she says.

8. Springfield, MA
Springfield, MA
Springfield, MA


Median list price: $319,000
Median days on the market: 53
Year-over-year change in median days: 7 days faster

Located on the Connecticut River, Springfield has a rich history. It’s considered the “Birthplace of Basketball,” as the sport was largely developed at Springfield College in the late 19th century. The Springfield Armory, established in 1777 and still operating today, helped secure the city’s role as a major industrial center for manufacturing.

With attractive home prices—about 25% below the national average—this area has demand remaining high despite the towering mortgage rates.

A $300,000, three-bedroom home in the nearby suburb of Wilbraham offers 2,000 square feet of living space on a half-acre lot. It also comes with a country-style kitchen and a swimming pool.

9. Cleveland, OH
Cleveland, OH

(Getty Images)

Median list price: $199,000
Median days on the market: 48
Year-over-year change in median days: 6 days faster

Nestled against the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is the most affordable metro on our list. The median home here is still less than $200,000, putting it at less than half the national average. It’s one of the best places to find mansions at a discount and has a large number of homes priced below $200,000.

Those low home prices mean higher interest rates don’t have as much of an impact on buyers’ budgets, keeping demand high.

The area is known for its industrial history and cultural landmarks. Although it was considered one of the richest cities in the world in the late 19th century, its economic and industrial might dwindled in the middle of the 20th century, like other industrial hubs.

Now, the economic diversification and urban revitalization projects that are easy to see around the city are fueling demand from buyers.

This renovated, four-bathroom, 1.5-bathroom house with a front porch is on the market for $159,900.

10. Portland, ME
Portland, ME.

(Getty Images)

Median list price: $549,900
Median days on the market: 51
Year-over-year change in median days: 6 days faster

Last on our list is Portland, a northeastern getaway city known for its rugged coastline, abundant natural beauty, and vibrant food scene. The city’s quality-of-life features have made it a hot market for both primary residences and vacation homes.

Although homes here are about 25% pricier than the national average, they’re still selling almost a week faster than they were one year ago.

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