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Midwestern markets heat up as buyers chase affordable homes

By Mike Wheatley | August 16, 2019

The Midwest is seeing growing home sales as more buyers swoop into the heartland in search of affordable homes. The uptick in sales means that midsize cities such as Boise, Idaho; South Bend, Indiana, and Columbia, Missouri are now showing up as some of the U.S.’s top-performing real estate markets.

Just 10 of the 178 metro areas analyzed by the National Association of Realtors saw double-digit price increases during the spring selling season, but almost all of that growth was in smaller, less expensive markets.

“We’ve seen this shift to the center of the country,” Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin, told The Wall Street Journal. “It used to be flyover country, and now it’s saving our bacon.”

Midwestern markets have been helped by employment and wage growth over the last year. In addition, mortgage rates are at their lowest since 2016. But existing home sales in many smaller markets have underperformed, at least until now.

“Some of those smaller markets never saw a big boom coming out of the recession,” Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic Inc., told WSJ. “This may be a rising tide finally reaching some of these secondary markets.”

Some Midwestern markets have heated up so fast that they’re now experiencing a shortage of homes for sale, and prices are rising quickly, said local real estate professionals said.

And as is often the case with larger, formerly hot markets, that could mean that first-time buyers could find themselves being locked out.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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