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Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com® Release Summer 2021 Emerging Housing Markets Index Report

NEW YORK and SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com® today released the WSJ/Realtor.com® Summer 2021 Emerging Housing Markets Index. The index ​analyzes key housing market data, as well as 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.

The Top-20 Emerging Markets for Summer 2021 are:

1Billings, Mont.11Topeka, Kan.
2Coeur d'Alene, Idaho12Jefferson City, Mo.
3Fort Wayne, Ind.13Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.
4Rapid City, S.D.14Colorado Springs, Colo.
5Raleigh, N.C.15Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, Calif.
6Portland-South Portland, Maine16Springfield, Ohio
7Waco, Texas17Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
8Johnson City, Tenn.18Concord, N.H.
9Bangor, Maine19Burlington, N.C.
10Huntsville, Ala.20Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Ky.
    

Beginning this quarter, the index’s methodology will include real estate tax data to offer a more comprehensive look at property ownership in each city. Areas with higher effective real estate taxes are ranked lower, while areas with lower effective real estate taxes are ranked higher. The addition of this metric generally boosted the ranking of areas in the South and West and caused many metro areas in the Northeast and Midwest, as well as Texas and Alaska, to be ranked lower.

Taking a Deeper Dive Into the Top Markets:

Returning Markets: The list saw 7 repeat markets among the top 20 including last quarter’s number one spot, Coeur D’Alene, ​ID, and the new number one market, Billings, MT.

Biggest Movers: Three markets among the top 20 jumped roughly 100 spots from last quarter. The biggest mover, Huntsville, AL, shot up 214 spots this quarter.

Unemployment Improved: Across the 300 markets, unemployment dropped from 6.3% on average in the first quarter to 5.5% on average in the second quarter. Several of the returning top markets saw even stronger improvements.

Smaller Markets Continue to Rank Well: Similar to last quarter, the top 20 emerging housing markets list is dominated by smaller markets. The average population size among the top 20 was just over 300,000, placing them overwhelmingly in the smaller half of the top markets. The largest market on the list is Raleigh, NC, which with a population of 1.4 million, is slightly smaller than last quarter’s largest market that made the top 20, Austin, TX (2.2 million).

Hot Real Estate Markets, but Affordable Home Prices Mean Room to Rise: The top 20 markets have a median listing price of $349,900 compared with a median of $361,900 in the top 300 largest U.S. markets. These lower prices mean that there is more room for home prices to grow, with prices in the top-20 areas increasing 13.7% year over year compared with 8.0% on average among all 300 areas evaluated.

Markets Falling Out of the Top-20: In general, the markets that fell out of the top 20 didn’t fall far. Nine of the 13 are still within the top 50, 11 of 13 are within the top 60, and 12 of 13 are within the top 100. The addition of real estate taxes to the index was not helpful for Madison, WI, which dropped 22 spots in the ranking due to that inclusion, alone.

Read the full report here.

Methodology:
The ranking evaluates the 300 most populous core-based statistical areas, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, and defined by March 2020 delineation standards for eight indicators across two broad categories: real estate market (50%) and economic health & quality of life (50%). Each market is ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 according to the category indicators, and the overall index is based on the weighted sum of these rankings. The real estate market category indicators are: real estate demand (16.6%), based on average unique viewers per property; real estate supply (16.6%), based on median days on market for real estate listings, median listing price trend (16.6%). The economic and quality of life category indicators are: unemployment (6.25%); wages (6.251%); regional price parities (6.25%); the share of foreign born (6.25%); small businesses (6.25%); amenities (6.25%), measured as per capita “everyday splurge” stores in an area; commute (6.25%); and estimated effective real estate taxes (6.25%).

About The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal is a global news organization that provides leading news, information, commentary and analysis. Published by Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal engages readers across print, digital, mobile, social, and video. Building on its heritage as the preeminent source of global business and financial news, the Journal includes coverage of U.S. & world news, politics, arts, culture, lifestyle, sports, and health. It holds 38 Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding journalism.

About Realtor.com®
Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today’s on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.

Contacts:
For The Wall Street Journal
Steve Severinghaus
steve.severinghaus@dowjones.com

For Realtor.com
Lexie Puckett Holbert
lexie.puckettholbert@move.com


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