It’s the question on every property investor’s lips. And the latest Market Hotness Index from Realtor.com provides the answer. The listing for August shows continued heating up of the US property market and includes some surprises.
Realtor.com produces its Hotness Index on a monthly and quarterly basis. In the latest edition for August this year, Californian metro areas dominate the general listing with red hot markets. But, the Index shows seasonal highs for the US property market as a whole, indicating that the housing market country-wide has no intention of slowing down.
Hot US property market
According to Realtor.com, August was a busy month for US property across the board. The Index reports “seasonal and historical highs” for prices. The median house price in the US reached US$275,000, up 10% in the year to August.
Buyer demand also soared and reportedly reached record levels. Sales of property went up by 8% in the 12 months to August and the number of days spent on the market dropped by 10%. The average 66 days was six days fewer than in August 2016.
Another sign of strong buyer demand in the US property market comes in inventory levels. Active listings throughout the country stood at slightly over 1.58 million in August, down 9% in the year.
Hottest US markets
As has been the trend in recent years, Californian metro areas dominate the hottest market listings. Vallejo-Fairfield takes top position as the hottest. In this area, property spends an average of just 31 days on the market and inventory moves 35 times faster than it does nationally.
California also takes the remaining positions in the top four. San José, San Francisco and Stockton are all classed as “very hot” markets in the August Index. Only Detroit in fifth place breaks the Californian dominance and is, according Realtor.com, also a “very hot” market. This Michigan metro area climbs 45 places in the August Index.
Hot Florida markets in August
Florida metro areas are no stranger to high rankings in the US property market. The hottest metro areas in the August Index were Tampa, Palm Bay and Orlando. Realtor.com classifies all three as “slightly hot”.
Tampa ranks in 56th position out of the 500 metro areas in the Index. This metro area has performed particularly well recently and earlier this year, Tampa was declared the healthiest market in the country.
The next hottest property market in Florida is the Palm Bay metro area, which ranks in 73rd place. Not far behind is Orlando with 94th place.
Hot US markets in Q2
The Realtor.com Index also looks at the hottest US property markets in Q2 this year. Middlesex in Massachusetts takes top place in the county’s listings, followed by Jefferson in Colorado and Solano in California. Completing the top five “very hot” markets between April and June are Alameda, also in California, and Franklin in Ohio.
Several Florida counties feature as “hot” markets in Q2. The hottest is Seminole County, bordering on the Orlando metro area. Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, and Pascoe County, just north of Tampa are both classified as “slightly hot”. Duval County, home to Jacksonville, is also “slightly hot”.