In the last month of winter, a chill penetrated even the hottest housing markets in America, according to an analysis of our data on realtor.com®.
In our monthly ranking of the nation’s hottest metros for real estate, we learned that the top 20 spent a median of three additional days on the market this February than they had in February 2018. The hottest markets list takes into account days on market and the number of listing views per market.
After years of skyrocketing prices, the dominant theme for 2019 seems to be affordability. As we saw in January, the places that improved the most in the ranking were smaller cities with lower prices. Although they didn’t make the cut for the top 20, markets to watch in this regard are Cleveland; Philadelphia; Cincinnati; Charlotte, NC; and Virginia Beach, VA. Note that the metro area typically includes nearby suburbs or satellite cities.
“We’re seeing more interest in secondary markets,” confirms Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. “Homes are a little bit more affordable, and buyers are looking for that affordability.”
For example, she said, Spokane, WA, is a more affordable alternative to Seattle, while Colorado Springs and Pueblo, CO, are good alternatives to Denver. And in California, priced-out residents of San Francisco might want to look to Santa Cruz.
“Affordable markets will continue to improve in the months ahead, so that’s likely to favor markets in the South and Midwest,” Hale says.
And yet, California markets are still dominant, even as they are the ones most affected by the slowdown in price growth and market activity. Santa Cruz homes spent 25 more days on market last month compared with February of last year, while Sacramento homes took an additional 13 days to move. Modesto homes sat for 11 more days, Stockton homes for nine. And in once-mighty San Francisco, homes were taking eight more days to sell.
But don’t worry too much (or get too excited) about San Francisco—it’s still No. 5.
The hot list
|Rank||20 Hottest Markets||Rank YY||Median Days on Market|
|3||Colorado Springs, CO||6||46|
|5||San Francisco, CA||-4||29|
|7||Yuba City, CA||23||59|
|11||Fort Wayne, IN||9||63|
|19||Santa Cruz, CA||-13||62|
|20||Boise City, ID||1||48|