California Real Estate Markets Dominate Realtor.com ‘Hot’ List, Again

Last week, Realtor.com updated its list of the 20 hottest housing markets in the U.S. This popular, recurring series looks at housing conditions in medium to large metropolitan areas across the country, and then ranks the hottest markets based on local supply and demand factors.

California once again dominated the company’s hot list. Twelve of the 20 hottest housing markets for February are located in the Golden State. The top-10 list has an even higher percentage, with a total of eight California housing markets making the cut (80%). Again, this is among medium to large metro areas.

This coincides with a November 2015 forecast, which predicted that most of the hottest markets of 2016 would be located in California. As it was predicted, so it has become.

12 California Housing Markets Ranked Among “Hottest”

Here are the top 20 hottest housing markets for February, by Realtor.com’s estimation:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Dallas, TX
  4. Denver, CO
  5. Vallejo, CA
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. Santa Cruz, CA
  8. Santa Rosa, CA
  9. Stockton, CA
  10. Oxnard, CA
  11. Sacramento, CA
  12. Los Angeles, CA
  13. Boulder, CO
  14. Modesto, CA
  15. Eureka, CA
  16. Portland, OR
  17. Nashville, TN
  18. Colorado Springs, CO
  19. Palm Bay, FL
  20. Tampa, FL

Methodology for Measuring the Hot Factor

The economic team at Realtor.com created this list by determining which U.S. housing markets had the best availability (good for home buyers) along with the highest level of demand (good for sellers).

To measure housing demand, they looked at the total number of real estate listing views for each metro area, on the Realtor.com website. To measure supply, they used the median number of days on market, primarily. This led to the creation of the hottest housing markets list, a list that gets updated each month as local market conditions change.

In the California (and other) housing markets shown above, real estate listings are viewed two to five times more often than the national average, according to a company representative. Homes are currently selling faster in these hot markets as well — as much as 78 days faster than the national average. This is often the result of limited inventory, which forces buyers to compete fiercely with one another for available homes.

San Francisco Still #1, With San Jose Rising

There are some familiar names on this list. For instance, the San Francisco, California housing market has been ranked #1 on the hot list for four months in a row. San Jose has been climbing steadily through the rankings and could eventually take the top spot, partly a result of tech money and demand in the Silicon Valley real estate market.

“These are the places that are head and shoulders hotter than the rest of the country,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com, “and they’re also accelerating.”