As the spring homebuying season approaches, experts are saying Waco is slated to have the hottest market in the country, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. In surprising news, Houston and Austin-Round Rock don't appear in the top 20.
Analysts at Realtor.com determined the top 20 housing markets by examining the median age of housing inventory in February as well as traffic on the site. Realtor.com’s chief economist Jonathan Smoke says based on this data, these two Texas markets are primed to lead the pack.
Active Waco listings on Realtor.com are viewed, on average, 335 times — the highest in the country. Dallas comes in second, at 219 pageviews per active listing. To put that in perspective, the national average is 73 pageviews per active listing. No other Texas market made the top 20.
The median age of housing inventory in Dallas-Fort Worth is 62 days. That’s the best in Texas — and 41 days shorter than the national average of 103. Although Waco doesn’t appear in the top 20 on that list, it earns the title as hottest projected market because of online activity.
Smoke says both metrics indicate that buyers are gearing up to hit a market that sellers are taking advantage of. “It’s a good measure that supply is getting tighter when you see that the age is getting lower, then demand is increasing faster than supply,” he says. “It’s a two-edged sword. It’s great if you’re an existing homeowner or seller, but it’s what’s behind prices accelerating and declines in affordability.”
The supply issue is affected by an inventory that shrank 30 percent between January 2014 and January 2015, as there were 16,000 homes available for sale in the area at the beginning of 2015. “It is tight,” Smoke says. “It’s an issue broadly across the U.S.”
Smoke says that there is relief for buyers on the horizon, because February’s inventory is expected to be up from January when the full numbers come in later this month.
“Typically you see an inventory increase this time of year,” he says. “Warmer markets get prepared for the spring selling season. There’ll be a large number of listings in March; the market is reacting, and inventory is increasing."
Here is the complete list of Realtor.com’s 20 hottest markets right now:
- Waco, Texas
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- Santa Rosa, California
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
- Vallejo-Fairfield, California
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California
- Charleston, West Virginia
- San Luis Obispo et al, California
- Columbus, Ohio
- Boulder, Colorado
- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan
- Hartford-West Hartford et al, Connecticut
- Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
- San Francisco-Oakland et al, California
- San Diego-Carlsbad, California
- Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
- Toledo, Ohio
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Maine/New Hampshire
CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh contributed to this article.