ATLANTA — Starting the year off strong, a metro area city made it into Zillow’s top 10 hottest housing markets for 2024.
That city is, of course, Atlanta.
According to Zillow, Atlanta ranked as the sixth hottest market in the country, based on typical rent costs, typical mortgage payments with 5% down, and the typical home value in the area.
Zillow said the ranking reflected a focus on affordability to drive market heat, with Buffalo, N.Y. and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio claiming the top three spots.
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“Housing markets are healthiest where affordable home prices and strong employment are giving young hopefuls a real shot at buying and starting to build equity,” Anushna Prakash, data scientist for Zillow Economic Research, said. “I’m cautiously optimistic that the housing market will get back on stable footing in 2024 — we shouldn’t see the massive price spikes of the early pandemic or fast-rising mortgage rates of recent years.”
Mortgage rates across the United States currently average 6.62% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to Freddie Mac, a federally-backed mortgage company.
While it’s a slight increase versus the rate a week before, it’s still at one of the lowest rate levels since October 2023. Rates last year hit a high of 7.79% just before Halloween, the highest rate recorded since rates in 2000 were over 8%.
“Between late October and mid-December, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plummeted more than a percentage point. However, since then rates have moved sideways as the market digests incoming economic data,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist said. “Given the expectation of rate cuts this year from the Federal Reserve, as well as receding inflationary pressures, we expect mortgage rates will continue to drift downward as the year unfolds. While lower mortgage rates are welcome news, potential homebuyers are still dealing with the dual challenges of low inventory and high home prices that continue to rise.”
While the market continues to adjust, Redfin, another real estate company, said monthly payments for homebuyers were dropping to their lowest level in about a year.
“The median U.S. mortgage payment was $2,361 during the four weeks ending Dec. 31, down $372 from October’s all-time high to its lowest level in nearly a year,” Redfin reported. “The weekly average mortgage rate dipped to 6.61% at the end of December, down from a 23-year high of 7.79% in late October.”
Still, at least in the Atlanta metro area, new listings of homes for sale were down 11.5% and pending sales were down 10%, according to Redfin’s data, somewhat bucking the national trend.
The Redfin data reported new listings were up 10% nationally and pending sales were down 3%, compared to Atlanta’s respective 11.5% and 10% decreases.
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