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California Dominates Hottest Markets List

Phil Hall
Jun 02, 2015

California’s nickname of “The Golden State” rang true in the’s latest listing of the nation’s hottest real estate market, with half of the 20 most desired housing locations located in that single state. Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke credited California’s tight inventory and solid economy for its real estate attractiveness, noting that Bay Area hot spots San Francisco and San Jose maintained their second and third spots for the second consecutive month while the state capital of Sacramento leaped from the number 21 slot in April to 12th place in May.

“Sacramento typically follows strong growth in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, as it is a relatively more affordable alternative,” Smoke said. “But this market has had strong employment growth above the national average and is seeing strong household growth as a result.”

Other California markets in the top 20 were Vallejo-Fairfield in fifth place, Santa Cruz-Watsonville in seventh, Santa Rosa in eighth, San Diego-Carlsbad in eleventh, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim market in 15th, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura in 17th and Stockton-Lodi in 20th.

However, Denver occupied the top spot as the nation’s hottest real estate market, with tight inventory and a robust economy keeping it at the peak of the list. The only East Coast markets in the top 20 were Boston in sixth place and New Hampshire’s Manchester-Nashua market at 18th. Michigan had a pair of markets in the upper half of the list–Ann Arbor in ninth place and Detroit in 10th–which Smoke credited to the state’s continued economic recovery and a very strong homeownership affordability level.

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