Top Ten Hottest Housing Markets in 2014, According to Zillow & Trulia

Economists and housing analysts from two major real estate websites recently published lists of what they feel will be the top ten hottest housing markets of 2014. Trulia and Zillow published their lists a week apart during the month of December, using different data but similar criteria.

While the two companies’ top-ten lists were different, there was a bit of overlap. The housing markets of Raleigh, Salt Lake City, and Seattle appeared on both lists. You’ll find the complete top-ten rankings below, along with a closer look at the three overlapping cities.

Zillow: Hottest Housing Markets of 2014

Zillow created its top-ten list of hottest housing markets by evaluating unemployment rates, population growth, and predicted home price gains. A “hot” real estate market, by their definition, has the following traits:

  • The local unemployment rate is currently lower than average.
  • The population grew by more than 2% over the past two years.
  • Local home values are expected to rise by more than 2% over the next 12 months.

Zillow’s economists feel that their list offers “an early view into housing markets that are likely to experience heavy demand for homes, as well as increasing home values.”

Here is Zillow’s top-ten list of hottest real estate markets for 2014:

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah *
  2. Seattle, Wash. *
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. San Jose, Calif.
  5. Miami, Fla.
  6.  Raleigh, N.C. *
  7. Jacksonville, Fla.
  8. San Diego, Calif.
  9. Portland, Ore.
  10. Boston, Mass.

(* = city appears on Trulia’s list as well)

Trulia: Top Ten U.S. Housing Markets to Watch in 2014

The economic researchers at Trulia created a similar list of top ten U.S. housing to watch in 2014. They based their rankings on recent job growth, long-term economic stability, and construction activity that is “typical of vibrant markets.”

You’ll notice there are no California real estate markets, which is unusual for a list of “hot” markets. According to Trulia, California cities were excluded due to overvalued home prices. Florida cities were excluded due to high foreclosure inventories.

Here is Trulia’s list of the top ten U.S. housing markets to watch in 2014:

  1. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md.
  2. Charlotte, N.C.
  3. Denver, Colo.
  4. Fort Worth, Texas
  5. Nashville, Tenn.
  6. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  7. Raleigh, N.C. *
  8. Salt Lake City, Utah *
  9. Seattle, Wash. *
  10. Tulsa, Okla.

(* = city appears on Zillow’s list as well)

Overlap: Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Seattle

We should expect to find different cities on these list, given the different parameters used to create them. Interestingly, however, there were three metro-level housing markets that appeared on both lists:

Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh benefits from a strong local economy. According to Michael Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University, the state could gain 100,000 new jobs in 2014. And Raleigh is a standout within the state. As Walden explains, Raleigh has “outperformed the state and nation in job growth during the past year.” This trend will likely continue into 2014, strengthening the local housing market. According to Zillow, the median sale price in Raleigh rose by nearly 8% during 2013. Home prices are expected to continue rising in this market through 2014.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Zillow’s Home Value Index for Salt Lake City rose 11.8% over the last year or so. Additional price gains are expected in 2014, though they will likely be more modest when compared to the gains of 2013. According to, the median list price in this market rose 9.21% over the last 12 months. Homes appear to be selling faster too, judging by the decline in inventory age. Experts from both Trulia and Zillow expect Salt Lake City to be one of the top ten hottest real estate markets of 2014.

Seattle, Washington
Seattle is one of the few real estate markets where prices have returned to pre-housing-crisis levels (or nearly). That puts it in league with Denver and Dallas, and a handful of other metros where prices have fully rebounded. Seattle posted significant price gains over the last year or so — 10% to 13%, depending on the source. While price growth is expected to slow in 2014, Seattle’s housing market is still hot enough to make it onto both Zillow’s and Trulia’s lists.

Disclaimer: This article contains a top-ten list of the hottest housing markets in 2014, as well as a list of top “markets to watch” over the next year. These lists were created by third parties not associated with this website. We make no claims or assertions about future conditions within these or any other real estate markets.