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Smaller Metro Areas See Similar Market Conditions to Big Cities

Smaller Metro Areas See Similar Market Conditions to Big Cities

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the real estate dynamics within larger metropolitan areas – including home price surges and inventory shifts – it has also touched upon smaller markets in similar ways.

Black Knight recently pulled data from several smaller metro areas using its Daily Home Price Flash to see what patterns and insights can be found in these neighborhoods as Americans continue to vacate crowded city centers in favor of more sparsely populated, spacious living conditions.

As seen in the below charts, several smaller metros which are usually considered to be “second home markets” have seen a ballooning of average single-family home (SFH) price since the pandemic hit in mid-March 2020. Most of these buyers come from within these cities themselves, but there have been interesting patterns for non-local buyers from larger cities as well, as remote work becomes commonplace for many white-collar workers.

Santa Maria and Napa, Calif., have both seen a wave of buyers moving from more populated California cities, specifically Fresno and San Francisco. California natives have also been moving to cities such as Flagstaff, Ariz., and Santa Fe. As seen, the SFH sold price in these locales has increased fairly dramatically from spring through current YTD.



Torrington, Conn., has seen an influx of buyers from nearby New York, with a peak SFH price in September much higher than in February.

As seen in the below median price indexed chart, the smaller markets examined all experienced significant price increases starting in the spring as COVID-19 began to impact the country. This has accompanied a large increase in sales activity, which has been running at much higher levels than just a year ago.

All told, these smaller markets will be worth watching as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in larger metro areas across the country.

Using its Daily Home Price Flash, Black Knight’s Collateral Analytics analyzes home sales and pricing information for major U.S. markets on a bimonthly basis and publishes its findings on this blog.