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America’s 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets in March 2016

Scorpio

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America’s 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets in March 2016
By
Cicely Wedgeworth

6:00 am ET
March 30, 2016


espiegle/iStock

Finally, the snow is but a distant memory in all but a few (unfortunate) pockets of the U.S. Our springtime spirits are soaring—and so are the nation’s hottest real estate markets. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s that there’s no reason to wait for April showers to bring May flowers—our analysis of preliminary data for the month of March shows that the spring home-buying season is in full bloom on realtor.com®.

The median list price continued its upward climb. Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale is increasing more steadily—but still not as fast as the pent-up demand from buyers.

“Listings are growing as they normally do this time of the year, but because demand has been growing faster than supply, homes are selling faster,” observes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com. “So the monthly trend is the normal seasonal pattern, but the year-over-year decline is reflective of demand being stronger than supply for more than a year, which is resulting in fewer homes available and faster-moving inventory.”

Naturally, the heightened appetite for a limited stock of housing is pushing up home prices. The projected median list price for March is $238,000—an increase of 3% from February, and 8% above the previous March.

It looks like March will have 3% more homes on the market compared with February, and that’s a welcome addition. But here’s a reality check: That’s still 2% less than we saw in March 2014. Probably because of the lack of inventory, homes were selling faster in March, spending a median of 77 days on the market. That’s 20% faster than in February, and 13% faster than the previous year.

Swelling the usual ranks of spring home buyers are those who wanted to buy last year but either got outbid or couldn’t find something that met their needs. After a holiday hiatus, those frustrated buyers are back, and more determined than ever to buy.

Our site traffic numbers show strong and growing demand in March. When the totals for the month are in, we expect to see that visits grew 20% over last year, and there were 40% more searches for houses on our site than last year.

“Would-be buyers face a dilemma: There will be more homes on the market over each week of the next three to four months, but there will also be even more prospective buyers,” says Smoke. “We are entering the busiest season of home buying with the lowest amount of inventory in three years. To be competitive, buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage and be ready to act quickly if they find a home that meets their needs.”

Great ready for a busy spring!

Pulling together the numbers on listing views per market (which shows the level of demand) and median days on market (which shows supply), we came up with a ranked list of the 20 hottest medium-size to large markets in the country. These are the markets where buyers are eager and homes are selling fast—listings get two to five times more views than the national average, and homes sell one or two months faster than in the rest of the country.

Like in last month’s list, California dominates with 13 out of the 20 top markets, but Eastern markets started to make a comeback. Boston, MA; Raleigh, NC; Lafayette, IN; and Columbus, OH, were all new to the list this month.

“Buyers are emerging in markets that typically see more winter weather,” Smoke says.

The hot list
  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Vallejo, CA
  3. Denver, CO
  4. Santa Cruz, CA
  5. Dallas, TX
  6. San Jose, CA
  7. Santa Rosa, CA
  8. Sacramento, CA
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Stockton, CA
  11. Colorado Springs, CO
  12. Oxnard, CA
  13. Eureka, CA
  14. Modesto, CA
  15. Raleigh, NC
  16. Boston, MA
  17. Los Angeles, CA
  18. Boulder, CO
  19. San Luis Obispo, CA
  20. Lafayette, IN




—————

Cicely Wedgeworth covers real estate, economic news, and home improvement at realtor.com. Cicely has worked at Yahoo, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday. Her interests include architecture, design, gardening, and cooking.

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/americas-hottest-markets-in-march-2016/
 

Mr Paradise

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California homeowners have a big surprise coming in the next few years. KomIssar Jerry Brown is 200 billion in the hole and believes in fairness and equality.

No Florida, Texas or D.C. area?
 

nickndfl

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Lot of room to raise property taxes in Cali. I can tell you the Florida market started moving in December and Miami is hot. I just went into contract yesterday to build a new home on the Treasure Coast that will hopefully be finished in time for Christmas. Around $100 per sq. ft. under air which is not bad, plus the land I already own. I also got the builder to pay for lot clearing and all of the closing costs!

I am already looking for another piece of property to build the next home after this one in about 3-5 years. If anybody wants some good vacant property PM me and I will give you listings that are the best values < $20k. I only have so much cash and can't buy everything.
 

Silvergun

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Wow, I am on the list. What do you guys think? Keep the very affordable small house I own or sell and upgrade? My family is bursting at the seems of my tiny 975 sq. ft. house. I am honestly at a loss on what to do. Prices seemed to have climbed back up too fast IMO, but with that said the local economy here is BOOMING. I can barely keep up with my workload, every single one of my proposals have been accepted. I am swimming in authorized work to do and the new proposals are coming in faster than the work is going out. Its a very good problem to have. Company I manage projects for is in an industrial area of town and it went from being a ghost town 3 or 4 years ago to barely even finding a damn parking spot these days.

Is this going to last?
 

earplugs

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Lot of room to raise property taxes in Cali. I can tell you the Florida market started moving in December and Miami is hot. I just went into contract yesterday to build a new home on the Treasure Coast that will hopefully be finished in time for Christmas. Around $100 per sq. ft. under air which is not bad, plus the land I already own. I also got the builder to pay for lot clearing and all of the closing costs!

I am already looking for another piece of property to build the next home after this one in about 3-5 years. If anybody wants some good vacant property PM me and I will give you listings that are the best values < $20k. I only have so much cash and can't buy everything.
pm sent
 

Goldhedge

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Wow, I am on the list. What do you guys think? Keep the very affordable small house I own or sell and upgrade? My family is bursting at the seems of my tiny 975 sq. ft. house. I am honestly at a loss on what to do. .
Is this going to last?
If you can add on, that would be cheapest. Else, double the size?

Your home also went up, so you may be able to increase size with not much more in mortgage. Rates are still low!

Will it last? Heck no! It's cyclical. Nearly all those "hot spots" are in California. 20 years ago they were singing the blues, then they rebounded, then they declined in 2007 like everyone else did.
 

Dude

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Wow, I am on the list. What do you guys think? Keep the very affordable small house I own or sell and upgrade? My family is bursting at the seems of my tiny 975 sq. ft. house. I am honestly at a loss on what to do. Prices seemed to have climbed back up too fast IMO, but with that said the local economy here is BOOMING. I can barely keep up with my workload, every single one of my proposals have been accepted. I am swimming in authorized work to do and the new proposals are coming in faster than the work is going out. Its a very good problem to have. Company I manage projects for is in an industrial area of town and it went from being a ghost town 3 or 4 years ago to barely even finding a damn parking spot these days.

Is this going to last?
Whether it lasts or not is the big question. Everybody needs a place to live. Our 1800 sq. foot house was too small as the 2 boys got bigger. My wife wanted a bigger house so I said go look and here are my requirements. Ended up with 3200 sq ft, brand new that the first buyer had to bail and lose his deposit. Since we live below our means, the smaller house became our rental.
 

nickndfl

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I would definitely upgrade a 975 sq ft. house. That's like a 2 BR retirement home from the 1960s here. Valued around $60k in 1990s and now $175-$225k in Ft. Lauderdale. In my town it's about $125k.

Just think of the energy efficiency you can get in a new home plus the comfort and convenience. We are upgrading to a 3 car garage from a 2 and are keeping 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms. This house in Palm Beach is $400k+, but we can get it done for around $250k about 45 minutes north. Plus property taxes will be half and have city water and sewer whereas in Palm Beach there is spotty city water and no sewer.

Will be my 5th new home as a primary residence since 1992. You gain much more equity by building rather than purchasing a resale unless it is a basket case and you dump a bunch of cash into it which most people cannot do.
 

Goldhedge

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Some real estate pointers.

3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage minimum. Anything less and it's functionally obsolete.

Anything more than the above is a plus.

The one question you need to ask yourself when buying a home is "Who's going to buy it from me when I sell?"

Statistically, your target market is families in the middle of the Bell curve with 2+ kids. They have toys. Might have another kid, guests etc.

Anything else is a statistical outlier, i.e., fewer buyers out there.


Stick with that and you'll do fine.
 

Scorpio

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GH,

Isn't there anything to this downsize movement?

Are these boomer houses in the burbs moving as is, where size mattered?

Is there going to be more demand for rentals as retirees want to get out from under a big house/yard/all the above?