California Home Buyers Push Vallejo as the Hottest Market in the US

The tight just keep on getting tighter. In the last, briefest month of winter (yay!) supplies were scarcer than ever in the residential real estate market, according to a preliminary analysis of our data here at®. Factoring in strong buyer demand, sales remained strong in February after a January in which the pace of existing-home sales was at a 10-year high.
And early birds were scrambling to get the worms … er, homes, which are moving off the market 5% more quickly this February than a year ago, and five days faster than in January. That’s even as prices remain at record highs.

“Spring has arrived early this year, at least in terms of the rapid decline in the age of inventory,” Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of said in a statement. “Strong off-season demand powered new seasonal highs in prices and left us with a new low in available homes for sale. Potential sellers take note: This year is shaping up to favor you even more than last year.”

Another indication of the continuing strength of buyer demand is that the median list price remains level at $250,000, which is a steep 9% higher than one year ago. If this figure holds by the end of the month, it would be a record for February. Buyers are also ramping up their search online: saw the highest year-over-year increase in average views per listing since April 2015.

The Hot List:

Rank (February) 20 Hottest Markets Rank (January) Rank Change
1 Vallejo, CA 3 2
2 San Francisco, CA 1 -1
3 Dallas, TX 4 1
4 Denver, CO 8 4
5 San Jose, CA 2 -3
6 San Diego, CA 5 -1
7 Sacramento, CA 6 -1
8 Stockton, CA 9 1
9 Colorado Springs, CO 13 4
10 Yuba City, CA 7 -3
11 Modesto, CA 16 5
12 Midland, TX 27 15
13 Detroit, MI 15 2
14 Oxnard, CA 11 -3
15 Fresno, CA 10 -5
16 Columbus, OH 12 -4
17 Boulder, CO 25 8
18 Boston, MA 32 14
19 Santa Rosa, CA 19 0
20 Los Angeles, CA 17 -3

While nearly 425,000 new listings will have entered the market in February, there still aren’t enough to meet buyer demand. In fact, the sharp double-digit decline in for-sale housing inventory observed since October is continuing.
All this may sound like music to sellers’ ears, but not so much for buyers. However, buyers who are able to land the home of their dreams can reassure themselves that their investment is likely to be a solid one—especially in our hottest markets, where homes are selling fastest and there’s the most demand.
This month’s ranking has California dominating the list as usual, with 12 markets, but five other states made a showing: Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
Leading the list is Vallejo, where the median days on market fell by almost half, powering it back into the top spot for the first time since August.
New to the list this month are Boulder, CO; Boston; and Midland, TX, which jumped eight, 14, and 15 spots respectively since January. Note that these metropolitan markets may also comprise neighboring cities or towns. For example, the Boston market also includes Cambridge and Newton, MA.