The Hottest and Coolest Housing Markets

There are glimmers of hope, but the housing market is still tough for hopeful homebuyers.

The inventory of homes for sale is higher than last year, but still well below pre-pandemic levels, according to Existing homeowners are digging in their heels: they’re reluctant to sell because of their locked-in mortgage rates; homes that are for sale are spending more time on the market, and listing price growth has decelerated and is expected to fall compared to last year, says. For buyers, higher interest rates continue to challenge affordability.

But the housing market isn’t stagnating everywhere. Lower-cost and lower-tax areas that continue to add population as well as add limited inventory of homes for sale creates housing market strength, according to a May report by Bankrate, which found that Gainesville, Georgia, seems to have that recipe for real-estate success.

The median price of homes sold in Gainesville in April was $375,000, according to, just a little below the national median of $388,800. The unemployment rate as of February in Gainesville was just 2.6%, with health care a major economic driver. The area has been attracting professionals who are moving out of the Atlanta metro area, Bankrate says.

The Atlanta area has 548 new home communities, according to one site that lists new homes and builder listings, and in nearby Gainesville, Georgia, (pop. of about 42,000) there are 896 new homes listed for sale as of May 23.

Across the country, Bankrate found that markets in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina are the strongest for sellers. On the flip side, the coolest markets in their survey are West Coast markets that experienced large run-ups in prices, as well as some Rust Belt regions struggling with job growth. 

To create their Housing Heat Index, Bankrate analyzed 212 U.S. metro areas, examining appreciation of home values, population growth and job growth over one year, the number of active residential listings per 1,000 people, and the median days a listing is on the market based on data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency,, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census. 

According to Zillow  (ZG) – Get Free Report, home values in Gainesville are up 3.3% over the past year. Listings have been going “pending” in around 18 days. “Hot markets” experience higher appreciations, while “cold markets” experience declines.

On the other side of the country, a college town in California is in the bottom of the ranking — the coolest market. The average home value there is $460,009,  down 3.9% over the past year and goes to pending in around 15 days, according to Zillow.

Based on Bankrate’s report, here are the 15 hottest and coolest housing markets.

The Hottest and Coolest Housing Markets

The 15 Hottest Housing Markets

1. Gainesville, Ga.

Home value appreciation rank: 4 Unemployment rank: 24

In the rankings of 212 metro areas, a 1 = greatest appreciation and lowest unemployment, while 212 = most depreciation and highest unemployment.

2. Knoxville, Tenn.

Home value appreciation rank: 6Unemployment rank: 82


3. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

Home value appreciation rank: 5Unemployment rank: 36

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4. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.

Home value appreciation rank: 2Unemployment rank: 24

5. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.

Home value appreciation rank: 15Unemployment rank: 101


6. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.

Home value appreciation rank: 24Unemployment rank: 70

7. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.

Home value appreciation rank: 30Unemployment rank: 36

8. Punta Gorda, Fla.

Home value appreciation rank: 7Unemployment rank: 59

9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

Home value appreciation rank: 9Unemployment rank: 18

10. Wilmington, N.C.

Home value appreciation rank: 14Unemployment rank: 82

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11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

Home value appreciation rank: 41Unemployment rank: 138


12. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.

Home value appreciation rank: 12Unemployment rank: 24

13. Winston-Salem, N.C.

Home value appreciation rank: 33Unemployment rank: 101

14. Athens-Clarke County, Ga.

Home value appreciation rank: 29Unemployment rank: 59

15. Jacksonville, Fla.

Home value appreciation rank: 31Unemployment rank: 18

The following metros are the coolest housing markets in the index, ranking in the bottom. These areas could be buyer’s markets.

The 15 Coolest Housing Markets

1. Chico, Calif.

Overall ranking: 212Home value appreciation rank: 205Unemployment rank: 188

The average Chico home value is $460,009, down 3.9% over the past year and goes to pending in around 15 days, according to Zillow.


2. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

Overall ranking: 211Home value appreciation rank: 198Unemployment rank: 115

3. Medford, Ore.

Overall ranking: 210Home value appreciation rank: 210Unemployment rank: 188

4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Overall ranking: 209Home value appreciation rank: 200Unemployment rank: 109


5. Pittsburgh

Overall ranking: 208Home value appreciation rank: 183Unemployment rank: 177


6. New Orleans-Metairie, La.

Overall ranking: 207Home value appreciation rank: 164Unemployment rank: 109

While most of the Southeast is booming, the this region’s economy and housing market are struggling. The New Orleans metro area ranks in the bottom half of every category in Bankrate’s index.

7. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill.

Overall ranking: 206Home value appreciation rank: 179Unemployment rank: 162


8. Napa, Calif.

Overall ranking: 205Home value appreciation rank: 212Unemployment rank: 115


9. Redding, Calif.

Overall ranking: 204Home value appreciation rank: 202Unemployment rank: 191

10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

Overall ranking: 203Home value appreciation rank: 180Unemployment rank: 122

A decades-long decline of manufacturing jobs continues to weigh on Detroit’s housing market.

11. Flint, Mich.

Overall ranking: 202Home value appreciation rank: 172Unemployment rank: 196

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12. Grand Junction, Colo.

Overall ranking: 201Home value appreciation rank: 169Unemployment rank: 122


13. Lafayette, La.

Overall ranking: 200Home value appreciation rank: 149Unemployment rank: 90


14. Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard, Wash.

Overall ranking: 199Home value appreciation rank: 189Unemployment rank: 193

15. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.

Overall ranking: 198Home value appreciation rank: 206Unemployment rank: 109

See the full ranking of 212 metros and the methodology for this study at Bankrate.

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