Zillow Just Released Its Housing Predictions for 2024—and It Changes Everything


The new year and fresh beginnings go together like a rustic farmhouse and shiplap. (Sure, they can exist on their own, but do they ever really?) If you want to bring that “new year, new you” sentiment to your real-estate portfolio, Zillow thinks you should pack your bags and relocate to Buffalo, New York. The platform just released its list of 10 hottest housing markets for 2024, and the company sidestepped popular metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago for smaller, less buzzy cities.

Admittedly, Buffalo seems like a rather surprising city to top the list; however, Zillow says the increased number of jobs created compared to the number of new home construction projects being approved, will be what makes the Queen City in-demand.

“Buffalo has also seen slow and steady home value growth over the past few years. This market did not experience a pandemic boom and fizzle,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “Instead, as home prices have rapidly risen elsewhere, Buffalo has become an affordable East Coast alternative for prospective home buyers looking to put down roots.”

Zillow

Meanwhile, Cincinnati and Columbus ranked second and third, respectively, because they were two areas where the homes generally sold the fastest in 2023. Midsized cities like Providence, Indianapolis, and Cleveland will continue to be trending throughout 2024, while an interest in Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, and Charlotte will make a case for moving to the south. Speaking of the south, Zillow also predicts homes around New Orleans, San Antonio, and Houston will be some of the hottest metro areas. (According to the real-estate platform, you can expect the average home value to drop by six percent.)

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You might see home values drop in some parts of the country, but that’s not a nationwide trend. In fact, Zillow’s 2024 Housing Market Predictions anticipates that while home buying costs will level off—and more properties will go on the market—mortgage rates will remain very, very high. And that’s what brings us to Zillow’s most interesting finding: Some people are giving up on buying a starter home altogether. As many households continue to be priced out of starter homes, you can expect single-family residences to become all the rage. “In 2024, those renter households may have more options when looking for a larger, single-family rental,” Pendleton adds.

Of course, Pendleton points out that prospective homebuyers renters aren’t the only ones who will reap the rewards this year. “A recent survey from Zillow Home Loans finds one in five homeowners say they are considering renting out their home instead of selling it,” she says. “Those who locked in an ultra-low mortgage rate during the pandemic may decide it makes more financial sense for them to rent than sell in today’s market, which could help add single-family rental inventory.”

But regardless of where you live—and whether you buy or rent—one thing’s for sure: A surge of optionality will give you plenty of ways to score your dream home.

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