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April’s Hottest Markets: Even Coronavirus Can’t Keep These Spots Down

Despite the novel coronavirus throwing the global economy and U.S. housing markets into chaos, certain real estate markets are holding up better than others.

For the third month in a row, Colorado Springs, CO, was ranked the hottest market in the nation, according to a recent realtor.com® report. The monthly ranking is based on where buyers are clicking on the most home listings on realtor.com and where homes are selling the fastest, with the fewest number of days on the market.

“Colorado Springs has a lot of lower-priced homes for sale at the entry level,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “The market has something to offer for buyers of all different ages and income groups.”

Homes in the city, at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains about an hour and a half south of Denver, received about twice as many views as the average properties across the country. They were also sold in a median 32 days, about twice as fast as the rest of the nation.

That doesn’t mean that real estate in the city is cheap. While the city does have starter homes, the median price in the metropolitan area, which includes the surrounding towns and suburbs, was $472,500 in April. That’s about 48% higher than the national median of $320,000.

But everything in real estate is relative. Colorado Springs properties cost about 46% less than in Denver, where the median home price is a jaw-dropping $692,000.

“We’re seeing the continuation of earlier trends where we don’t expect the smaller, more affordable markets to cool down anytime soon,” says Vivas. But “for markets to remain hot, they’ll need to have an abundant supply of homes and a thriving job market.”

Realtor.com’s hottest markets tended to be smaller cities or those outside of larger, more expensive ones. They generally outperformed the rest of the country. Home listings in these metros received nearly two to three times more listing views than those nationally. And residences are selling 13 to 31 days faster than they typically do in the rest of the country.

But COVID-19 has still taken its toll.

Homes in only four of the 20 markets that made our list sold faster this April than a year ago. In March, days on market were down for all of the hottest markets.

In addition, 15 of the markets in our ranking saw fewer views per property, compared with just three in March.

Pueblo, CO, was the only hottest market to see both more views per property and number of days on the market improve. The smaller city is about 45 minutes south of Colorado Springs.

“Markets like Pueblo are attracting buyers that have been priced out of Denver,” says Vivas. “Home-buying demand has been pushed out of the bigger cities and into adjacent, [smaller] cities that tend to be lower-priced.”

The hot list

Metro Rank (April 2020) Rank (April 2019)
Colorado Springs, CO 1 6
Fort Wayne, IN 2 54
Topeka, KS 3 15
Pueblo, CO 4 42
Columbus, OH 5 5
Modesto, CA 6 20
Manchester, NH 7 11
Lafayette, IN 8 2
Sacramento, CA 9 9
Fresno, CA 10 34

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