The 10 hottest housing markets of 2021

·4 min read

Despite two years into a pandemic, the hot housing market isn’t showing any signs of cooling off.

Most markets grew by double digits in 2021, while the top three markets in the nation grew more than 30% in the third quarter, according to data provided by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to Yahoo Finance. And five of the top 10 are in Florida.

“Florida does not have a personal income state tax, so that is a big draw for workers and retirees,” said Gay Cororaton, NAR’s senior economist and director of housing and commercial research. “Of course, one can’t forget Florida’s great weather and beautiful beaches.”

Read more: The hottest housing market of 2021

Home prices are also still relatively affordable in Florida compared with the rest of the country, Cororaton said. The average price of a single-family home in the U.S. is $363,700, while many Florida markets have median home prices below that. This makes Florida more attractive to potential homebuyers, especially if you're willing to look outside of the tourist hotspots of South Florida or near the theme parks.

“One can typically get a single-family existing-home price in Ocala for $240,000,” Cororaton said.

But people are flocking to other states as well. Here are the 10 hottest housing markets in the country, according to NAR.

10. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ

New York City midtown skyline
New York City midtown skyline

Percentage increase: 24.5%

Median sales price in third quarter: $563,000

9. Port St. Lucie, FL

Aerial drone image of Port St Lucie Florida USA
Aerial drone image of Port St Lucie Florida USA

Percentage increase: 24.9%

Median sales price in third quarter: $343,500

8. Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL

Photo taken at sunrise at pier in Vero Beach, Florida.
Photo taken at sunrise at pier in Vero Beach, Florida.

Percentage increase: 25.7%

Median sales price in third quarter: $330,000

7. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Phoenix, Arizona, USA Downtown Skyline Aerial.
Phoenix, Arizona, USA Downtown Skyline Aerial.

Percentage increase: 25.8%

Median sales price in the third quarter: $429,600

6. Salt Lake City, UT

Winter daytime shot of Salt Lake City.  Featured is the temple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormons
Winter daytime shot of Salt Lake City. Featured is the temple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormons

Percentage increase: 26.2%

Median sales price in third quarter: $500,800

5. Punta Gorda, FL

Punta Gorda, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida

Percentage increase: 27.5%

Median sales price in third quarter: $325,000

4. Ocala, FL

Downtown Street in historic Ocala, Florida.
Downtown Street in historic Ocala, Florida.

Percentage increase: 29.7%

Median sales price in third quarter: $240,000

3. Boise City-Nampa, ID

Cloudy sky over Boise with many hot air balloons
Cloudy sky over Boise with many hot air balloons

Percentage increase: 31.5%

Median sales price in third quarter: $480,800

2. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL

Condos and marina in Naples, Florida, USA on a sunny day
Condos and marina in Naples, Florida, USA on a sunny day

Percentage increase: 32%

Median sales price in third quarter: $640,000

1. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainmnet district in downtown Austin, Texas.  Sixth Street was formerly named Pecan Street.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainmnet district in downtown Austin, Texas. Sixth Street was formerly named Pecan Street. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Percentage increase: 33.5%

Median sales price in third quarter: $498,400

Will this hot market trend continue in the new year?

Home prices continue to climb, and don’t expect them to slow down in 2022, according to Cororaton. And that could mean homebuyers will continue to seek out affordable alternatives.

“Austin and Boise will continue to have strong housing markets in 2022 because of their strong job growth and because they are still relatively affordable compared to say San Francisco, San Jose, or Seattle,” Cororaton said.

But as prices rise there, other nearby markets could benefit. For instance. San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth are both more affordable than Austin. If more companies focus less on in-person work, Austinites might not feel compelled to stick around for long. This is also happening in other areas of the country, Cororaton said, like Pensacola and the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville areas in Florida.

“The ability to work from home fully remotely disconnects the relationship of where people live and work," Cororaton said. "So I expect a shift to these more affordable, hidden gem markets.”

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Dori Zinn is a personal finance journalist based in South Florida. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, CNET, Quartz, TIME, and others.

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