Top 10 U.S. Housing Markets to Watch in 2016

January 25, 2016 | By

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, which real estate market will be the hottest of them all (at least, in 2016)?

According to Realtor.com®, that market just might be Providence, RI. In its “10 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2016,” Realtor.com pegged the “Creative Capital” as one of the top up-and-coming markets to watch, citing strong demand for housing, a prosperous job market, and low unemployment.

Realtor.com’s economists predict a home price appreciation of 3 percent or more for Providence in the coming year.

To come up with its list, Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke didn’t turn to tasseography. Instead, he examined the forecasted growth of those markets that were equal to or better than the U.S. average.

Each of the markets on Realtor.com’s list had “60 percent more listing page views than the U.S. overall and inventory that sells 16 days faster than the U.S. average,” reports Realtor.com.

Their top 10 markets—which include Memphis, TN and Virginia Beach, VA—also boast large populations of key demographics such as Millennials, Generation Xers, and retirees.

“Some markets have been hot and are remaining hot (San Diego, Sacramento, Boston, Atlanta),” says Smoke.

“Some are just now seeing signs of recovery based on substantially better economic conditions forecasted for next year (2016) (Providence, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, St. Louis). Some are spillover markets from very hot markets (Providence, Sacramento), and most have one or more key demographic driving demand,” Smoke adds.

Realtor.com’s complete top-10 list is:

  1. Providence, RI
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. Sacramento, CA
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. New Orleans, LA
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Charlotte, NC
  9. Virginia Beach, VA
  10. Boston, MA

Trulia’s Predictions

“The American dream of homeownership is not only alive and well but continues its resurgence,” says Trulia, noting the share of Americans who dream of owning a home is again up since last year: 1 percentage point to 75 percent, and up 2 points among Millennials to 80 percent.

As for the trends we should expect to see in 2016, Trulia predicts housing markets in the West and Northeast (which Trulia has dubbed the “Costly Coasts”) will cool in the New Year, while markets in the South and Midwest will heat up.

Despite a potential rise in mortgage rates, buying will also be a better deal for customers than renting nationally (although in many California markets renting may become cheaper).

Looking at affordability, job growth in the past year, online search activity, and low vacancy rates, Trulia listed Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI, Charleston, SC, and Austin, TX, as the top three of the 10 markets that may see increased activity in 2016.

Trulia’s complete list is:

  1. Grand RapidsWyoming, MI
  2. Charleston, SC
  3. Austin, TX
  4. Baton Rouge, LA
  5. San Antonio, TX
  6. Colorado Springs, CO
  7. Columbia, SC
  8. RiversideSan Bernardino, CA
  9. Las Vegas, NV
  10. Tacoma, WA

Source: “The Top 10 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2016,” published by Realtor.com on Dec. 2, 2015.

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