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Fall’s 20 Strongest Markets for Home Buyers, Investors

October 20, 2021

Keep your eye on Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.—it may be the best market in the U.S. for homeowners and investors, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index.

The index, which covers 300 of the largest metro areas in the U.S., weighs several housing variables, including the state of the housing market, economic vitality, quality of life, and more to predict the areas most likely to see home price growth over the coming months.

“Like last quarter, our top 20 emerging housing markets index is dominated by smaller markets, but more larger markets topped this list this quarter,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. The growth in the median asking prices in these areas was more than double the average rate of growth in all 300 markets, Hale says. “Notably, last quarter’s top markets were generally more affordable, but in this quarter’s data, they’re more expensive, on average, with a median price of $392,800 compared with just $359,100.” Population and jobs are growing in these emerging markets, she adds.

The top 20 emerging housing markets, according to the fall 2021 rankings in the index are:

  1. Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.
  2. Rapid City, S.D.
  3. Topeka, Kan.
  4. Raleigh, N.C.
  5. Jefferson City, Mo.
  6. Burlington, N.C.
  7. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  8. Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, Calif.
  9. Johnson City, Tenn.
  10. Huntsville, Ala.
  11. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  12. Fort Wayne, Ind.
  13. Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
  14. Kennewick-Richland, Wash.
  15. Decatur, Ala.
  16. Billings, Mont.
  17. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
  18. Waco, Texas
  19. Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
  20. Boulder, Colo.