- Manchester-Nashua, NH remained the country’s hottest housing market in December.
- The top 20 hottest markets are spread out across 13 states, with four metros in Ohio.
- As prices continue to level off nationwideaffordability remains a key feature of December’s hottest market with 16 markets below the national median listing price.
- One Western market returned to the list for the first time since May 2022. The Southern region returned to the list as well after a two month hiatus.
- The Milwaukee, WI metro area saw the largest increase in its hotness ranking among larger metros compared to last year, climbing 188 spots to rank as the 11th hottest US market in December.
Manchester-Nashua took the crown as the hottest US market again in December. This is the 16th time Manchester-Nashua has taken the top spot in the last 22 months.
Realtor.com’s Market Hotness rankings take into account two aspects of the housing market: 1) market demand, as measured by unique views per property on Realtor.com, and 2) the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on Realtor.com.
Demand for Affordability Continues to Climb
One West region market returned to the list this month. This is the first time in six months that a Western market has been on the list. Southern markets also returned to the list this month after being absent in October and November. The popularity of Western markets tends to peak in the winter and wane in the warmer months, so the emergence of one Western market is a bit of a return to form. By and large, however, Western markets have been replaced with affordable markets in other regions.
Overall, 16 of December’s hottest markets had median listing prices below the national median, the same as last month. The average listing price for the 20 hottest markets fell compared to last month, dropping to $313,000 in December, 21.8% lower than the national average, and the lowest hottest market average price since August 2021. The top market, Manchester-Nashua, NH, is the highest-priced market on the list this month, priced 23.8% higher than the national average. However, the median-priced home in this market is $250,000 less expensive than the typical home in the nearby Boston metro area, making it an attractive locale for Boston commuters.
Midwest Markets Dominate, Western and Southern Markets Return
Affordable Midwest metros held 10 spots on this month’s list, with an average listing price of $245,000. Ohio boasts 5 markets on this month’s list, while Wisconsin and Illinois are each represented by 2 metros. The Midwestern markets on the list were all priced below the national median and garnered an average of 1.8 times the number of views as the typical US listing.
The Northeast held 6 spots on December’s list, including several markets that are home to zips from the 2022 Hottest Zip Codes list. The Northeast hottest markets included two locales from Massachusetts and one each from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York and New Hampshire. One of the Massachusetts markets, Worcester, is well-poised for growth, rising to the top of the Top Markets Forecast for 2023. The Manchester-Nashua, Springfield and Worcester metro areas all surround the Boston metro area, emphasizing the demand to be near this Northeast hub.
Southern markets returned to the list in December with 3 locales: Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC, Kingsport-Bristol, TN, and Roanoke, VA. These markets were all priced below the national median, and garnered double the views of the typical US property, on average.
The one Western market on the list this month was Billings, MT, where the median listing price was $470,000 in December, down 5.9% compared to the previous year. The median listing price per square foot was also lower than last year, though by slightly less (-3.6% YY), indicating that some of the price declines were due to a shift in home size mix. This price drop gives some insight into this market’s place on this month’s list, highlighting the demand for more affordability. Billings was last featured on the Hottest Markets list in May 2022.
The states featured in our top 20 list this month are: Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Our Hottest Housing Markets, by design, are the areas where homes sell fastest and have lots of potential buyers checking out each listing, suggesting relatively favorable conditions for sellers. As a group, Realtor.com’s 20 Hottest Housing Markets received 1.5 to 2.7 times the number of viewers per home for sale compared to the national rate. These markets are seeing homes-for-sale move up to 23 days more quickly than the typical property in the United States. Because homes in the hottest markets move fast, shoppers in these areas should be aware of conditions and have their finances in order, including a mortgage pre-approvalso that they can submit an offer quickly if they find a home that is a good fit.
High Demand and Climbing Prices in Hottest Markets
The hottest markets saw median listing viewership an average of 2 times higher than was typical in the US in December, emphasizing the sustained popularity of these hot markets relative to the full US market. Homes in the hottest markets attract a greater-than-typical number of home shoppers, with a larger difference between the typical market and the hottest market than was common in the years before the pandemic. The key takeaway for buyers and sellers here is that while national real estate trends are an important context, these trends can drive activity towards or away from certain markets, so local demand may be quite different from national demand.
The median national home price for active listings fell again in December to $400,000, even as it was up 8.4% year-on-year. The vast majority of December‘s hottest markets are relatively affordable markets that fall below the national median price, despite seeing price growth that outpaces the national rate. On average, these hot markets have seen prices increase by 18.0% year-over-year, more than doubling the national rate of 8.4%, though down from the highest historical monthly hot market average price growth. December is the fifth month in a row that the average hottest markets’ price growth has climbed beyond US price growth, which has been falling since June. The wide-ranging search for affordability is driving relatively high price growth in otherwise affordable locales, a trend consistent with greater interstate home shopping observed in the Realtor.com Q3-2022 Cross Market Demand Report.
Price per square foot growth in this month’s hot markets outpaced US growth as well. The average hot market price per square foot was 19.3% below the typical US price in December, though it was up 10.9% compared to last December, outpacing the US’ 8.7% price per square foot growth.
December 2022 – Top 20 Hottest Housing Markets
|Hottest Metros||Hotness Rank||Hotness Rank YoY||Viewers per Property vs US||Median Days On Market||Days on Market YoY||Median Listing Price If Active Within Period|
|Rochester, New York||2||-1||2.4||44||5||$237,000|
|Worcester, Mass. -Conn.||7||-4||2.1||53||10||$440,000|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.||11||-188||1.7||50||-16||$375,000|
|Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn. -Va.||16||-5||2.4||59||11||$299,950|
Manchester-Nashua Takes the Crown, Yet Again
the Manchester-Nashua, NH metro area was the country’s hottest market again this month. Homes in Manchester-Nashua were selling under 44 days in December—one week slower than last year, but more than 3 weeks faster than was typical in the rest of the country. Properties in the metro drew in 2.7 times as many views per property as the typical home around the United States.
The median listing price of homes in the Manchester-Nashua metro area was $495,000 in December, up 13.2% year over year, faster than the 8.4% advance in the national median listing price in the same period. However, price growth has slowed in this metro since July 2022, indicating that even the country’s hottest market is being impacted by the shifting housing market. The typical home listing in Manchester is priced 23.8% above the national median price of $400,000, though significantly lower than the nearby Boston area.
Home prices grew year-over-year in Manchester-Nashua due to both general price growth and a shift in home size. The median for-sale home size in Manchester-Nashua increased by 5.8% compared to December 2021. Controlling for home size, the median listing price per square foot increased by 8.3% compared to the previous year, indicating some of the overall listing price growth is due to the larger homes being sold in this area.
Most Improved Large Markets
Larger urban markets cooled off this month, with the largest 40 markets across the country getting 4 ranks cooler, on average, since December 2021.
In line with overall hottest market trends, four of the five most-improved large housing markets were in the Midwest: Milwaukee, WI (+188 spots), St. Louis, M.O (+132 spots), Chicago, IL (+128 spots), Minneapolis, MN (+100 spots), with Baltimore, M.D (+75 spots) in the South region rounding out the list. These markets offered highly sought after affordability, with listing prices the same to 33.7% below the national median of $400,000.
The Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI housing market saw the fastest year-over-year hotness growth in the metro’s data history, earning it the position of fastest-rising large market again in December. In the third quarter of 2022, this metro received the most (49.2%) out-of-metro attention from viewers in the nearby Chicago, IL metro area according to Realtor.com Cross-Market Demand data. In December, the Milwaukee area rose 188 spots in hotness ranking compared to last year. The metro area clocked in as the 11th hottest metro in the US, the highest December ranking since 2018, which was 10th. Homes in Milwaukee typically spent 50 days on the market in December, 17 days fewer than the typical US home. On the demand side, properties in the metro garnered 72.8% more viewers than the typical US property.
On the supply side, the five most-improved large markets saw inventory spend 55 days on the market, slightly faster than last year and an average of 12 days faster than the typical US home. In comparison, the largest 40 markets overall saw properties spend roughly 11 days more time on the market than last year, on average.
Markets Seeing the Largest Jump in Rankings (December 2022)
Note: With the release of its September 2022 housing trends report, Realtor.com® incorporated a new and improved methodology for capturing and reporting housing inventory trends and metrics. The new methodology updates and improves the calculation of time on market and improves handling of duplicate listings. Most areas across the country will see minor changes with a smaller handful of areas seeing larger updates. As a result of these changes, the data released since October 2022 will not be directly comparable to previous data releases (files downloaded before October 2022) and Realtor.com® economics blog posts. However, future data releases, including historical data, will consistently apply the new methodology.