America’s Hottest Markets for Real Estate in December 2016









“On Dasher, on Dancer … on U.S. home buyers!” At least, that’s what Santa might say if he were checking out® data while making his express prime deliveries (guaranteed delivery by Christmas morning) later this month. We took an early peek at the stats for December 2016 and found that, much like demand for toys and candy canes, demand for real estate showed no signs of slowing down for the holidays.

In fact, the shelves are almost bare: The year is set to close with a record-low supply of homes for sale.

The U.S. housing market already had a stronger than normal off-season in September and October because of demand from buyers, including many first-timers, who hadn’t yet been able to nab a home, says’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke.

“Since the election, demand seems to have intensified—potentially as a reaction to mortgage rates moving suddenly higher,” Smoke says. “The threat of rates approaching multiyear highs in the months ahead is creating a sense of urgency.”

Another indication of the heightened demand for housing is that the median list price remains the same from November instead of steadily declining into the winter months.  The current median price of $250,000 is 9% higher than one year ago, a record for December.

And while homes are sitting on the market six days longer than for November, they’re picking up speed as the year ends. The median number of days that properties take to sell is expected to reach 88 for December, which is five days faster than last year at this time.

We analyzed our data to find the markets where homes are selling the fastest and buyers are eagerly checking out listings. The result: our monthly list of the country’s 20 hottest markets for real estate! These metro areas include smaller nearby towns, so for example the San Francisco market also takes in Oakland and Hayward.

As usual, California dominates the list with 12 markets, including San Francisco, which holds on to the No. 1 spot for the fourth month in a row. Texas, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee are also represented. Two newcomers made the list: Midland, TX, and Yuba City, CA, which was also the biggest gainer, vaulting up 30 spots to crack the top 20.

Check out the full list:

The hot list

20 Hottest Markets Rank
Rank Change
1 San Francisco, CA 1 0
2 Dallas, TX 2 0
3 Vallejo, CA 3 0
4 San Jose, CA 5 1
5 San Diego, CA 6 1
6 Denver, CO 4 -2
7 Stockton, CA 7 0
8 Columbus, OH 9 1
9 Sacramento, CA 11 2
10 Detroit, MI 10 0
11 Yuba City, CA 41 30
12 Santa Rosa, CA 13 1
13 Fresno, CA 14 1
14 Colorado Springs, CO 20 6
15 Oxnard, CA 19 4
16 Fort Wayne, IN 8 -8
17 Los Angeles, CA 18 1
18 Nashville, TN 17 -1
19 Midland, TX 33 14
20 Modesto, CA 15 -5