Have your eye on a new house out west? You’re not the only one. The mountainous western states are well-represented in Realtor.com’s new ranking of the hottest housing markets in 2022: Salt Lake City, Boise and Spokane are the top three cities, and Seattle is also in the top 10.
To assemble the list, Realtor.com combined forecasted sales growth and forecasted price growth in the 100 largest markets in the United States.
It expects Salt Lake City, Utah, named as the overall hottest market, to see year-over-year home sales growth of 15.2% and year-over-year price growth at 8.5% in 2022. Realtor.com cites the city’s proximity to outdoor activities like skiing and hiking, low cost of living, good schools and local tech industry jobs as reasons for its popularity. Buyers should be prepared to pay up, though: The median home price in Salt Lake City is roughly $565,000 right now, and that's all but guaranteed to rise next year.
Boise, Idaho, with 12.9% expected sales growth and 7.9% expected price growth, ranked second on the list. The city came in at No. 13 on Money's 2021 Best Places to Live list thanks to its affordability, strong job market and vibrant cultural scene.
Spokane, Washington, with 12.8% expected home sales growth and 7.7% expected price growth, ranked third while Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, rounded out the top five. Both Indianapolis and Columbus earn high marks for affordability, with median home prices under $300,000. Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis — another affordable option, with median home prices of about $275,000 — was included on Money's 2022 list of the top 10 Best Places to Retire recently.
Overall, Realtor.com expects many of 2022's hottest markets to be clustered in the low-unemployment, high-job-growth areas of the Mountain West, Midwest and New England.
"With thriving local economies, low unemployment rates, convenient access to the outdoors and relatively affordable housing, many of the top markets offer the best of both small town quality of life and big city job security,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a release accompanying the findings.
The ranking was also shaped by pressures related to the pandemic: for many white-collar workers, the ability to work remotely meant the expansion of a home search beyond the major cities on the coasts.
The hottest housing markets in the U.S. for 2022
Here are the top ten hottest housing markets for 2022, according to Realtor.com. The ranked metropolitan areas include the main cities listed as well as their surrounding urban centers and towns, which is why, for example, Providence (Rhode Island) mentions nearby Massachusetts in the listing below.
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Boise, Idaho
- Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington
- Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana
- Columbus, Ohio
- Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island-Massachusetts
- Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
- Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
Where home prices are heading in 2022
According to Realtor.com's study, next year's housing landscape won't be all that different to the ultra-competitive, ultra-expensive market that made headlines this year. Hale notes that homebuyers interested in popular markets "may still be able to find good value even as listing prices are expected to climb in 2022, but getting a leg up on the competition will be key."
For buyers willing to wait, there are some signs that the red-hot market is finally beginning to cool. While homebuyers shouldn’t expect a turnaround next year, or even for prices to flatten out, they can take heart in the fact that the rate of home price growth is finally falling.
The number of affordable home listings is on the rise, and major bidding wars are becoming less frequent. So while 2022 won't bring about a buyer's market by any means, some of the insanity may be on the brink of fading.
These trends are already showing up in the data: Realtor.com's ranking also includes markets — the Chicago, New York City and Honolulu areas among them — where sales and price growth are both expected to fall next year.