Homes in Upstate New York Sell in Roughly a Week. In Austin, It Now Takes Nearly Two Months.

by Real estate financingMission+
17 minutes read

Albany, Rochester and Buffalo are among the nation’s fastest housing markets. Austin, once known for its speed, is one of the slowest.

In Albany, NY, the typical home that sold in September went under contract in just eight days, making it the fastest market in the country. Next came Rochester, NY (9), Grand Rapids, MI (9) Buffalo, NY (11), San Jose, CA (12) and Seattle (12).

Aside from Seattle and San Jose, all of the six fastest markets have median home sale prices well below the national level of $412,081—one reason homes in these metros are getting snatched up so quickly. The typical home that sold in Rochester last month went for $235,000, making it the 4th most affordable metro in the nation. Buffalo ranked 8th, with a median sale price of $255,000, and Albany and Grand Rapids ranked 21st and 24th, with median sale prices of $310,000 and $320,000, respectively. That’s based on a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of at least 750,000.

Homes in affordable places have become more competitive as housing affordability has dwindled due to rising mortgage rates and still-high home prices. The average 30-year-fixed mortgage rate hit 8% last week for the first time in 23 years, sending the typical homebuyer’s monthly payment up significantly from a year ago.

“You might not think of Rochester as a hotspot, but people are still flocking into our area and supply remains very low,” said Kimberly Hogue, a local Redfin real estate agent. “Especially for someone coming with a big-city budget, paying $400,000 for a beautiful single-family home in a desirable neighborhood is a no brainer, and there just aren’t enough to go around. Even with mortgage rates near 8%, homes here are still affordable.”

The situation is a bit different in nearby Buffalo, according to local Redfin agent James Strzalkowski, who has observed signs that the market is beginning to slow.

Buffalo was promoted for years as an affordable city with so much to offer, including cheaper labor, but our local economy is changing. Home prices and the general cost of living are catching up to other parts of the country,” he said. “We have a housing shortage in part because people can’t afford to move, but homes that are listed are starting to sit for longer and see price drops as mortgage rates rise and inflation impacts our city.”

In Austin, Homes Used to Fly Off the Shelves. Now It’s the Third Slowest Housing Market in the Country.

In New Orleans, the typical home that sold in September went under contract in 70 days, making it the slowest market in the country. Next came Honolulu (62), Austin, TX (59), West Palm Beach, FL (58), McAllen, TX (53) and Charleston, SC (53).

Homes in most of the aforementioned markets have historically taken longer to sell than the typical U.S. home. The outlier is Austin, where homes have historically sold faster. Austin exploded in popularity during the pandemic as scores of remote workers moved in from expensive coastal cities to take advantage of the area’s relatively affordable housing. In turn, home prices skyrocketed and many homebuyers were priced out.

Austin’s housing market has lost its edge in large part because it has become more expensive. The typical home that sold in September went for $450,000, or 9.2% more than the typical U.S. home. That gap has narrowed since home prices peaked last spring, when homes in Austin were selling for nearly 30% more than the typical U.S. home.

 

Metro-Level Summary: September 2023

U.S. Metro Area Median Days on Market Year-Over-Year Change in Median Days on Market (in Days) Median Home Sale Price
Albany, NY 8 -5 $310,000
Anaheim, CA 33 -9 $1,090,000
Atlanta, GA 28 1 $387,000
Austin, TX 59 12 $450,000
Bakersfield, CA 28 -6 $341,250
Baltimore, MD 21 -4 $375,000
Birmingham, AL 47 3 $277,950
Boston, MA 20 -1 $685,000
Buffalo, NY 11 -1 $255,000
Camden, NJ 20 -4 $325,000
Cape Coral, FL 43 19 $385,000
Charleston, SC 53 -1 $425,000
Charlotte, NC 39 1 $390,000
Chicago, IL 50 -7 $321,000
Columbus, OH 37 -2 $330,000
Dallas, TX 36 4 $422,900
Dayton, OH 20 -8 $209,950
Denver, CO 20 -1 $580,000
Detroit, MI 16 -5 $183,165
El Paso, TX 34 1 $254,475
Fort Lauderdale, FL 51 5 $425,000
Fort Worth, TX 37 9 $357,760
Frederick, MD 20 -8 $517,495
Fresno, CA 22 0 $401,000
Grand Rapids, MI 9 -1 $320,000
Greensboro, NC 27 0 $275,000
Greenville, SC 45 2 $326,000
Honolulu, HI 62 10 $727,444
Houston, TX 34 8 $333,200
Indianapolis, IN 14 2 $299,992
Jacksonville, FL 44 8 $360,000
Kansas City, MO 23 3 $312,750
Knoxville, TN 47 -1 $364,000
Lake County, IL 48 -6 $337,750
Las Vegas, NV 37 -10 $415,000
Los Angeles, CA 36 -7 $875,000
Louisville, KY 22 1 $255,000
McAllen, TX 53 23 $251,000
Memphis, TN 39 5 $275,000
Miami, FL 51 0 $510,000
Milwaukee, WI 39 -7 $305,000
Minneapolis, MN 21 -1 $375,000
Montgomery County, PA 17 -4 $435,000
Nashville, TN 50 11 $440,000
Nassau County, NY 26 -2 $653,000
New Brunswick, NJ 24 -19 $510,000
New Orleans, LA 70 42 $278,985
New York, NY 52 2 $695,000
Newark, NJ 25 -6 $525,000
North Port, FL 42 18 $442,831
Oakland, CA 14 -10 $930,000
Oklahoma City, OK 17 4 $248,000
Omaha, NE 13 2 $300,000
Orlando, FL 26 5 $395,000
Oxnard, CA 37 -10 $840,000
Philadelphia, PA 38 -3 $270,000
Phoenix, AZ 40 -5 $442,000
Pittsburgh, PA 49 -3 $225,000
Portland, OR 21 -1 $545,000
Providence, RI 23 -4 $450,000
Raleigh, NC 37 0 $435,000
Richmond, VA 13 -2 $370,000
Riverside, CA 36 -7 $545,000
Rochester, NY 9 0 $235,000
Sacramento, CA 16 -13 $575,000
Salt Lake City, UT 34 1 $506,250
San Antonio, TX 50 17 $318,075
San Diego, CA 16 -12 $867,500
San Francisco, CA 24 -5 $1,450,000
San Jose, CA 12 -16 $1,487,000
Seattle, WA 12 -9 $769,990
St. Louis, MO 18 -3 $255,000
Stockton, CA 15 -15 $540,000
Tacoma, WA 15 -11 $533,900
Tampa, FL 25 5 $380,000
Tucson, AZ 46 -2 $360,000
Tulsa, OK 18 4 $260,000
Virginia Beach, VA 21 -4 $333,950
Warren, MI 17 -5 $296,000
Washington, D.C. 30 -6 $520,000
West Palm Beach, FL 58 8 $470,000
Worcester, MA 19 -3 $433,000
National—U.S.A. 33 1 $412,081

Editor’s note: A previous version of this report stated that Austin was the second slowest housing market. It is the third slowest. The report has been updated.

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