Emerging Markets May Imply Moving Pattern Change

An aerial photograph of a residential neighborhood.

© David Jay Zimmerman - Corbis Documentary / Getty Images

More populated, pricier housing markets are reemerging as places to watch in real estate. The WSJ/Realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index, which looks at the markets that economists believe will be strong in the months ahead, saw communities averaging populations of 500,000 or more enter the top 20 markets, an increase of 100,000 from the previous quarter. Also, more coastal communities, particularly in Florida, appeared on the list.

“It could signal a reorientation of the real estate market,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. Big cities like New York City or Los Angeles were not on the list, but other highly populated communities and pricey markets did appear.

High-priced markets like Naples, Fla., Kahului, Hawaii, and Silicon Valley’s San Jose, Calif., made the index’s list in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The index identifies the top markets for both buyers and investors from 300 of the largest metro areas. It factors in housing demand, rising home prices, employment, and more.

The top 10 emerging real estate markets in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to The WSJ/Realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index, are:

  • Naples, Fla.: $667,000 (median home price)
  • North Port, Fla.: $445,000
  • Kahului, Hawaii: $937,000
  • San Luis Obispo, Calif.: $899,000
  • San Jose, Calif.: $1.224 million
  • Cape Coral, Fla.: $380,000
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.: $215,000
  • Huntsville, Ala.: $362,000
  • Raleigh, N.C.: $387,000
  • Burlington, N.C.: $285,000