Going into the new year, just about everyone has heard the big news: The real estate market is slowing down. Crazy annual price spikes are waning, more properties are hitting the market, and there are fewer buyers to compete with. Everyone is wondering what that means for 2019. Will all long-frustrated, aspiring homeowners finally be able crack open celebratory bottles of Champagne? Will sellers find profit margins shrinking?
Will financial institutions crumble? Will Earth start hurtling toward the sun?
Well, no. As it turns out, not all markets are slamming into reverse. In fact, there are still housing markets expected to be white-hot in 2019—and realtor.com®’s economic team found them. These are the 10 top superstar metropolitan areas* where both the number of sales and prices are expected to jump in 2019, bucking the national slowdown trend. And many of these are not the places you’d expect to go gangbusters.
Nationally, we’re predicting the number of overall home sales to decrease by 2%, after years of steady climbs. Meanwhile, prices, which have been steadily zooming up over the past few years, will rise only by a paltry 2.2%—thanks to already meteoric prices in many parts of the country, along with the rising mortgage interest rates and tax changes pricing more buyers out of the market.
So what’s cushioning next year’s overachiever metros from this type of deceleration? They all have extremely strong economies and hordes of new residents moving in, and most are relatively affordable. That makes them attractive to West Coast and some Northeastern denizens fleeing shockingly high home prices, taxes, and costs of living. Retirees are trekking south to warmer—and cheaper—climates. And transplants and career seekers are chasing booming areas with plenty of job growth.
Only two metros graced both the 2018 and 2019 lists. Las Vegas took the top spot last year, but fell to No. 7 in 2019. Meanwhile, Lakeland, FL, climbed from fifth to first place this year.
“The diversity of these top markets suggests that real estate can thrive anywhere there is a strong local economy,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. “While attracting younger individuals and families who are likely to be first-time buyers can be important, real estate can also thrive in sunny retirement communities.”
To determine the best real estate markets of 2019, we looked at the number of sales of existing homes and their prices, along with the amount of new home construction in the 100 largest markets. We also analyzed the local economies of each area, along with population trends, unemployment rates, median household incomes, and other factors.
So what are the real estate markets that will rule 2019?
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