LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Lafayette and West Lafayette metro area appeared at the top of the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Market Index in the country for February.
With the housing market dramatically slowing down in the second half of the year, due to rising mortgage rates and record-setting housing costs, the Lafayette metro area emerged at the top of the list due to its affordability compared to the rest of the country.
In December, the median home-sale price in Tippecanoe County, was around $243,000, up 13% from a year earlier, according to the Indiana Association of Realtors.
But this was still more than $100,000 below the national median existing-home sales price of $366,900 in December 2022.
Beyond the affordability of the area, there were also several aspects that the WSJ found appealing to new home buyers, such as an appreciating housing market, a strong local economy and appealing lifestyle amenities.
Couple this with the Lafayette area’s proximity to Indianapolis and Purdue University, as well as being a manufacturing hub due to several major factories being in the area like Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) and Caterpillar Large Engine Center, to name a few.
“We are extremely excited for the ranking by the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.
“Over the years, we have positioned Greater Lafayette as a destination for families and businesses to consider making this community their home. We have created a quality lifestyle that includes public art and entertainment, parks and recreation, affordable housing, low taxes, a safe community and so much more.”
Realtor.com. found that people from nearby major cities, such as Chicago and Indianapolis and more expensive cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., showcased high interest and home-shopping activity for the Lafayette area in the fourth quarter.
“The area’s affordability relative to other parts of the country makes it attractive to out-of-state investors,” said Chris Bradford, managing broker of Bradford Real Estate in Lafayette.
“We’ve slowed down significantly, but I still have sellers coming to me to sell. I still have buyers looking to buy.”
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.
Noe Padilla is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email him at Npadilla@jconline.com and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: WSJ: Lafayette metro area the top housing market in U.S.