This year has thrown everything into a new normal, including housing trends, which have defied all expectations in the middle of a pandemic. Wooed by record-low mortgage rates and a renewed focus of the home as the epicenter of daily life, home sales have reached their highest levels since 2006, and U.S. median home prices have reached a record high of $293,000. These numbers should only go up as house prices are expected to continue to rise and housing markets tend to get stronger.
While housing markets have strengthened across the country in recent months, some areas have had bigger gains than others. The National Association of Realtors (opens in new tab) (NAR) recently pinpointed 10 housing markets across the United States that are expected to hit it big in 2021 and 2022, in a post-covid world. If you're considering a move, these are the areas to pay attention to, thanks to massive growth and even a competitive seller's market.
"One astonishing development has been the hot housing market as consumers eyed record-low mortgage rates and reconsidered what a home should be in a new economy with flexible work-from-home schedules," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist and senior vice president of research.
NAR considered a variety of indicators that it views to be influential to a metro area's recovery and growth prospects including unemployment rate, net domestic migration, the share of workers in retail trade, leisure and hospitality industries, mobility to retail and recreation, and the amount of those working from home, among others.
In alphabetical order, these are NAR's top real housing markets during and in a post-COVID-19 environment.
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia
- Boise City, Idaho
- Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
- Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona
- Provo-Orem, Utah
- Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington
"As we look towards 2021 and beyond, expect these 10 markets to perform strongly with potential buyers finding conditions particularly favorable to purchase a home," said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty.
These areas can expect to see an influx of new residents, a recovering economy, and a competitive real estate market as homeowners lead the way for a suburban revival.
Housing Markets with the most moves into the area
The metro areas with the highest number of new residents included the Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix metro areas. The study also examined a migration from pricey West Coast locales and identified that large shares of West Coasters relocated to Phoenix, Dallas, and Spokane, Washington, most likely for its affordable cost of living and similar weather.
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (~250,000)
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia (~200,000)
- Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona. (~200,000)
- Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana (~67,000)
Housing Markets with Lowest Unemployment Rates
As the national unemployment average hovers around 7.9 percent, better than the beginning of the pandemic, but still higher than pre-pandemic levels, the levels of unemployment are a strong indicator of a region's growth. The following cities have below-average unemployment rates. For instance, the Charleston area stayed resilient, and from a non-scientific standpoint, who can resist that gorgeous weather?
- Provo-Orem, Utah: 4.2%
- Madison, Wisconsin: 4.3%
- Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina: 4.7 %
- Des-Moines, Iowa: 5 %
Housing markets with the largest work from home workforce
As remote work becomes a standard and allows the opportunity for more people to choose where they settle, the Atlanta Metro-Area (home to yours truly) stands out for having the highest share of workers working from home, at 8.8%, compared to the national share of 5.6%. Overall, about 21 percent of workers presently work from home, that number is expected to decrease to 18 percent in 2021 and to 12 percent in 2020.
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia: 8.8%
- Provo-Orem, Utah: 7.9 %
- Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona: 7.9%
- Boise City, Idaho: 7.7 %
- Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington: 7.2 %