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As home buyers continue their searches in an active and competitive fall season, the nation’s top-performing markets in October are all affordable alternatives to their nearby big-city counterparts.

Topping realtor.com®’s October list was Manchester, N.H., about an hour northwest of Boston. Homes in Manchester are selling in under 24 days—about 21 days faster than the overall housing market. Properties there are receiving about 2.8 times as many views on realtor.com®.

“Affordability and strong local economies remain very much top-of-mind for today’s buyers,” says George Ratiu, manager of economic research at realtor.com®. “With home prices reaching record levels this year, many buyers are still finding themselves locked out of expensive cities. Many of the markets on our list are small to mid-sized within a reasonable commute distance of a major employment center but with much more affordable home prices.”

Realtor.com® identifies the top-performing housing markets each month by pinpointing which areas have seen the quickest sales and fetched the most views at its site. The average median list price in the 20 markets topping its list in October is nearly 16% lower than the median price nationally. Homes on the list were a median of $320,000 compared to the nationwide median home price of $380,000, realtor.com® says.

Here are the 15 markets that topped realtor.com®’s October list:

  1. Manchester, N.H.: $419,000 (median listing price)
  2. Burlington, N.C.: $295,000
  3. Eureka, Calif.: $489,000
  4. Rochester, N.Y.: $211,000
  5. Elkhart, Ind.: $219,900
  6. Lafayette, Ind.: $227,500
  7. Fort Wayne, Ind.: $224,900
  8. Johnson City, Tenn.: $300,000
  9. Jefferson City, Mo.: $179,900
  10. Rapid City, S.D.: $386,000
  11. Raleigh, N.C.: $425,000
  12. Topeka, Kan.: $175,000
  13. Concord, N.H.: $389,900
  14. Springfield, Mass.: $310,000
  15. Worcester, Mass.: $399,000

Source: Realtor Magazine

All-cash purchases rose to their highest level since the first quarter of 2015, according to a new report released by ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm. All-cash purchases comprised 34% of all single-family house and condo sales in the third quarter. In some markets, all-cash transactions represented more than half of sales.

Cash sales represented the largest share of all transactions in the third quarter in Columbus, Ga. (74.6% of all sales); Atlanta (69%); Macon, Ga. (59.3%); Youngstown, Ohio (56.6%); and Detroit (56.2%), according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

All-cash sales have risen the most in Atlanta and Detroit over the last year.

A bar chart showing the top 10 U.S. markets with the greatest annual increases in share of cash sales for Q3 2021

Some Buyers Using iBuyer Backing to Make All-Cash Offers

Institutional investors—who tend to make up the bulk of cash transactions—reached their highest level in the market since the first quarter of 2014, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. They accounted for 7.3% of all single-family house and condo purchases in the third quarter. The states with the largest percentages of sales to institutional investors in the third quarter were Arizona (17.4% of all sales); Georgia (13.9%); and Mississippi (12.8%).

Source: ATTOM Data Solutions

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