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Published: Jan 28, 2022 4 min read
Beautiful home in Naples Florida
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You can expect Florida’s housing market to be hot in more ways than one this winter.

Five cities in Florida were featured in a new ranking of emerging housing markets compiled by Realtor.com and the Wall Street Journal. Florida's Naples and the North Port-Sarasota area took the two top spots in the ranking, followed by Kahului, on Maui in Hawaii.

To compile its ranking, Realtor.com analyzed the 300 largest metropolitan areas in the country to identify the top “emerging markets.” These are places not only where home prices are expected to rise but that also offer great lifestyle amenities like beach access, warm weather and restaurants and shopping.

A number of Sun Belt cities made the cut, including Waco, Texas, Yuma, Arizona, and San Luis Obispo, California. Realtor.com says homes in the cities on its latest emerging markets list generally sell in about 40 days — 13 days faster than the average across all 300 markets.

On average, properties in the top 20 cities have seen 50% more viewers compared with the same time last year. For all 300 markets Realtor.com analyzed, that figure was 20%. The 20 cities on the list are also seeing outsized interest from international buyers. Overall, they’re friendly to remote workers, and many are popular vacation destinations.

All that interest means that homes in these areas aren’t cheap. Two-thirds of the cities on the list have median listing prices that exceed the median for all 300 markets, Realtor.com said, and four cities on the list have median listing prices over $1 million. In Naples, the median home listing price was $590,000 in December, up 31% on a yearly basis.

The top emerging housing markets of winter 2022

These are the top 20 emerging housing markets for winter, according to Realtor.com’s ranking. The metro areas below include the surrounding cities and towns as well as the main city listed.

  1. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida
  2. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
  3. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii
  4. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California
  5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
  6. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida
  7. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  8. Huntsville, Alabama
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina
  10. Burlington, North Carolina
  11. Yuma, Arizona
  12. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana
  13. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
  14. Vallejo-Fairfield, California
  15. Punta Gorda, Florida
  16. Waco, Texas
  17. Rapid City, South Dakota
  18. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  19. Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida
  20. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California

Florida’s housing market is getting hotter

The Sunshine State has seen a huge surge in housing demand during the pandemic, and that momentum is expected to continue this year.

Zillow’s recent list of the hottest housing markets for 2022 also includes three cities in Florida: Tampa, which took the number one spot, Jacksonville and Orlando.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors named Pensacola, as one of the top “hidden gem” real estate markets for this year, and Riverview — a suburb of Tampa — made Money’s list of the best places to sell a home in 2022.

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