Housing-Market Surge Is Making the Cheapest Homes the Hottest

 Housing-Market Surge Is Making the Cheapest Homes the Hottest

The red-hot U.S. housing market is giving an extra boost to the cheapest houses, including many in historically stagnant neighborhoods that have suffered from a lack of investment.

U.S. ZIP Codes where the median home cost less than $100,000 in early 2018 have had a 42% rise in prices in the three years since then, according to a CoreLogic Inc. analysis for The Wall Street Journal. That is about double the rise for ZIP Codes where the median was between $150,000 and $200,000, and triple the rise in locales with $300,000-plus price tags.

The pandemic has prompted wealthy buyers to splurge on vacation homes and families to trade in city living for the suburbs. It has also fueled demand among first-time home buyers and investors, lifting the bottom end of the housing market in particular.

While prices in many low-cost areas remain far below national averages, some worry that the price…

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