February 2021 Hottest Housing Markets

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Real Estate

Highlights

Vallejo-Fairfield, CA reclaims the title of the hottest housing market in the country.
Spillover and secondary markets continue to dominate the list as buyers prioritize affordability and space while remaining close to major hubs.
The Austin-Round Rock, TX metro area saw the largest increase in its Hotness ranking among larger metros compared to last year, despite disruptions due to harsh winter weather.
Larger metros dropped in the rankings as smaller markets drew in more prospective homebuyers.
Smaller outlying markets continued to rise in the rankings in February. Affordability continues to be a driver of demand as spillover markets dominate our list of the hottest housing markets.

Realtor.com’s Market Hotness rankings take into account two aspects of the housing market: 1) market demand, as measured by unique viewers per property on realtor.com, and 2) the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on realtor.com.

In February, Vallejo-Fairfield reclaimed the title of hottest housing market in the country after last holding it in December. The Vallejo-Fairfield metro area has been a mainstay in the top 20 hottest markets for several years. Half of all homes in Vallejo were selling in under 14 days in February — 21 days faster than last year, and 49 days faster than is typical in the rest of the country. Properties in the metro drew nearly four times as many unique viewers per property as the typical home around the United States. The median listing price of homes in Vallejo was $510,000 in February, up 8.5% year over year. While this metro is priced above the national median, it’s still an affordable alternative to nearby San Francisco, where median listing prices were hovering around $1 million in February.

As a group, Realtor.com’s 20 Hottest Housing Markets received 2.7 to 8.2 times the number of viewers per home for sale compared to the national rate. These markets are seeing homes for sale move 27 to 55 days more quickly than the typical property in the United States overall. 

Twelve states were represented in the top 20 list, including California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. California dominated the hotness list, with eight markets represented, followed by New Hampshire with two markets represented.

February’s Top 20 Hottest Housing Markets

Metro
Hotness Rank
Hotness Rank YoY
Viewers per property vs US
Median Days on Market
Median Days on Market YoY
Median Listing Price
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
1
2
3.73
14
-60.0%
$510,000
Yuba City, CA
2
4
4.31
24
-51.0%
$450,000
Stockton-Lodi, CA
3
8
3.58
22
-40.3%
$487,000
Burlington, NC
4
22
4.50
28
-58.8%
$275,000
Concord, NH
5
36
8.19
30
-59.0%
$371,000
Springfield, OH
6
38
5.00
29
-59.7%
$154,000
Janesville-Beloit, WI
7
30
4.88
31
-56.3%
$225,000
Coeur d’Alene, ID
8
62
3.73
29
-63.9%
$872,000
Colorado Springs, CO
9
-7
3.15
23
-40.8%
$548,000
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA
10
4
3.46
29
-39.6%
$400,000
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
11
-2
3.42
30
-38.8%
$987,000
Ogden-Clearfield, UT
12
54
2.92
14
-64.1%
$475,000
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA
13
3
2.88
21
-48.8%
$589,000
Reno, NV
14
53
3.31
32
-55.6%
$585,000
Austin-Round Rock, TX
15
92
2.92
26
-58.2%
$494,000
Modesto, CA
16
-8
3.12
31
-19.7%
$470,000
Fresno, CA
17
14
2.73
24
-45.4%
$365,000
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN
18
-17
4.31
41
5.1%
$288,000
Manchester-Nashua, NH
19
6
6.23
43
-35.8%
$420,000
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
20
12
2.65
26
-55.2%
$970,000
 

Snow Storms Can’t Slow Down the Texas Housing Market
Despite the damage done by winter storms throughout Texas in February, major metros in the state remained resilient in the Hotness rankings. In particular, of the largest 40 metro areas in the country, Austin-Round Rock, TX saw the largest rise in the rankings.

During the third week of February, when metros across the country saw severe winter weather, new listings were down most in Texan metros such as Austin (-87.8% year-over-year), Dallas (-79.8%), San Antonio (-77.2%), and Houston (-73.5%). This created an interesting dynamic in Texas. On one hand, the drop in available listings concentrated homebuyer demand into the remaining homes for sale, increasing competition among buyers. On the other hand, power outages disrupted home search activity for local homebuyers, which eased some of that competition. In the end, some Texas markets experienced some Hotness hiccups due to the storm, while others — like Austin — powered through.

One potential reason for Austin’s resilience in the rankings is its out-of-state appeal. As a thriving and relatively affordable tech hub, Austin draws homebuyers from across the country for tech jobs. The sustained homebuyer demand, coupled with strained inventory during the storms, ensured Austin’s rise in the rankings this month. 

At a national level, larger urban markets continued to cool down in the rankings in February, with the largest 40 markets across the country dropping by 33 spots, on average, since last year. 

Of the largest 40 metros, the most improved metros over the past year were Austin-Round Rock, TX (+92 spots); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (+77 spots); Jacksonville, FL (+71 spots); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (+58 spots); and San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (+35 spots). 

On the supply side, the five most-improved markets combined saw inventory move 27 days more quickly than last year. In comparison, the largest 40 markets overall saw properties sell 12 days faster than last year, on average. The time a typical property spent on the market in the most-improved markets was 30 days shorter, on average, compared to the national rate. On the demand side, properties in the most-improved markets drew in twice as many unique viewers on average than the typical property nationally.