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Yuma beat out every town in San Diego County?

Less expensive cities with strong local economies climbed The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index in the first quarter, another sign that many home buyers are giving priority to affordability.

Fast-rising housing prices have pushed buyers from expensive coastal cities into cheaper housing markets in recent years. Expanded remote-work opportunities and a search for different lifestyles during the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated the trend.

“People are chasing affordability,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. In response to high housing prices and increased remote-work flexibility, he said, “people are reordering where they live.”

The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index identifies the top metro areas for home buyers seeking an appreciating housing market and lifestyle amenities.

The top-ranked markets in the first quarter had faster home sales, higher wages and shorter commute times than the market as a whole, said George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com. News Corp, parent of the Journal, operates Realtor.com.

The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index ranks the 300 biggest metro areas in the U.S. In addition to housing-market indicators, the index incorporates economic and lifestyle data, including real estate taxes, unemployment, wages, commute time and small-business loans.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/affordability-drives-home-buyer-activity-in-wsj-realtor-housing-index-11650974402

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