While much of the U.S. thaws its way toward spring, some housing markets are heating up this winter season, according to a recent analysis from realtor.com.
Colder temperatures typically hinder the home buying season, as fewer homes are on the market during this time and those that are currently for sale are slow on the uptake among potential buyers. This conventional lag, however, only increases the appetite for home buyers ready to pounce once the spring buying season arrives.
“Our traffic, searchers and listing views exhibited the January ‘pop’ we saw last year, which made for a strong spring,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com. “In addition, a large number of prospective buyers have been telling us since the second half of 2015 that they plan to purchase in the spring and summer of 2016.”
Following the usual winter pattern, Smoke expects listing inventory for January to trend down 7% from December. Currently, the median age of inventory is now 100 days, which means it is taking homes 6% longer to sell in January than in December—but that is still 4% faster when compared with January 2015, according to realtor.com.
Realtor.com estimates the median listing price for January at $227,000, which remained virtually flat compared to December, but still 8% higher year-over-year.
By analyzing listing views and inventory age in the largest U.S. markets, realtor.com was able to identify the hottest 20 housing markets that bucking the national “chill.”
Determining what makes a market among the “hottest,” according to realtor.com’s analysis, is largely based on the popularity of listing views, the pace at which homes in these markets move, as well as the dwindling length of time they are on the market.
For example, listings in the hottest markets are viewed two to five times more quickly than the rest of the U.S., notes realtor.com. Additionally, houses in these markets move 30 to 50 days more quickly compared to the rest of the nation, and they have also seen their days on market drop by a combined average of 7% year-over-year.
In January, San Francisco retained its position as the hottest housing market for the second consecutive month. California, in general, commands seven of the top-10 markets, while Florida and Texas also feature multiple markets on realtor.com’s January rankings.
Realtor.com’s Hottest Housing Markets in January 2016:
1. San Francisco, CA
2. San Jose, CA
3. Dallas, TX
4. Vallejo, CA
5. San Diego, CA
6. Sacramento, CA
7. Nashville, TN
8. Stockton, CA
9. Denver, CO
10. Los Angeles, CA
View the remaining top-20 hottest markets at realtor.com.
Written by Jason Oliva