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Idaho City Tops List of Emerging Housing Markets

As found by the new WSJ/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho tops the list of the nation’s number one emerging market. The new Index, jointly published by The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com, analyzes a slate of housing market data, economic vitality, and lifestyle metrics to surface emerging housing markets that offer a high quality of life, and are expected to see future home price appreciation.

“Our emerging housing markets list is another example of how different housing markets are being shaped by people using remote work flexibility to relocate to less urban locales,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com. “With outperforming local economies and many small businesses, these areas offer locals a great quality of life that is drawing new residents in. Whether it's boating, skiing or hiking, the majority of the markets on this list offer homebuyers a chance to get outdoors, which has become especially important over the last year. Looking forward, what happens in these housing markets as companies start to open their offices again, has yet to be seen, and could hinge on the degree to which workplace flexibility becomes a new norm.”

The top emerging markets include:

  1. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  2. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  3. Springfield, Ohio
  4. Billings, Montana
  5. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington
  6. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana
  7. Reno, Nevada
  8. Concord, New Hampshire
  9. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
  10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
  11. Burlington, North Carolina
  12. Akron, Ohio
  13. Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, California
  14. Appleton, Wisconsin
  15. Modesto, California
  16. Prescott, Arizona
  17. Columbus, Ohio
  18. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California
  19. Madison, Wisconsin
  20. Columbia, Missouri

The top 20 markets have seen home prices increase by 21% on average in the last year, compared to an average of 14% across all markets. On average, the top emerging markets have lower levels of unemployment, with a rate of 5.8%, compared with 6.3% for all markets. Median wages in these top emerging markets are slightly above average at $1,034 vs. $1,016 (per week).

In terms of size, these markets are not the biggest or most populated metropolitan areas. Despite their smaller size, these areas are growing, with an estimated population growth of 0.9% vs. growth of 0.5% on average for the list as a whole.

Click here for more on the WSJ/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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