Although nationwide home sales remain at multi-decade lows, some corners of the housing market are selling like hotcakes.

According to a new report from Creditnews Research, the Rust Belt leads the pack—with eight of the ten fastest-selling housing metros in April coming from the Midwest.

In the Ohio metros of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, as well as Kansas City, MO, an average home stays on the market for just four days before going under contract.

Meanwhile, listings in St. Louis, MO, Cleveland, OH, Toledo, OH, Richmond, VA, and Omaha, NE, spend an average of five days on the market.

The study found that homes are selling faster in the Midwest despite an increase in year-over-year inventories, a sign that buyers are taking advantage of more affordable real estate options.

On the flip side, the ten slowest-selling housing markets in April were mainly clustered in the Southern states, including six in Florida and two in Texas.

In McAllen, TX, for example, an average home listing takes 59 days to reach pending status.

In the Florida metros of Sarasota, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Miami, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville, listings stay on the market between 36 and 46 days before being claimed.

With home prices reaching record highs again, there’s reason to believe that homebuyers will expand their search to more affordable regions.

Sizing up the housing market

According to Redfin data, the median national home price hovered at $433,000 in April. That's almost twice as much as the average home in many parts of the Midwest.

At the end of 2023, median home prices in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Missouri ranged between $222,000 and $241,000.

That’s partly why Zillow identified the Midwest as the best region for first-time buyers—a demographic that's the most sensitive to housing affordability.

First-time buyers account for roughly a third of home sales, well below the 40% that economists say is needed to sustain a healthy housing market.

But home prices are just one part of the equation. In fact, economists say mortgage rates are the biggest reason why buyers remain on the sidelines.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), 30-year mortgage rates increased to 7.05% last week, which is much higher than the 4-5% range needed to attract buyers back into the market.

“Borrowers remain sensitive to small increases in rates, impacting the refinance market and keeping purchase applications below last year’s levels,” said Joel Kan, the vice president and deputy chief economist at MBA.