The U.S. housing market is experiencing a period of uncertainty and volatility, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues continue to impact the demand and supply of homes across the country. However, some metropolitan areas are showing more resilience and strength than others, according to the U.S. News Housing Market Index1, an interactive tool that synthesizes housing market perspectives and predictions.
The index ranks the top 50+ U.S. housing markets based on a variety of indicators, such as buyer demand, housing supply, relative affordability, mortgage delinquencies, rental vacancies and building permits. The index is regularly updated toward the end of each calendar month, and provides a simple yet comprehensive way to compare the health of different housing markets on a scale of 1-100.
According to the latest update in June 2023, the hottest housing market in the U.S. is Denver, Colorado, with an index score of 72.9, followed by Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina (71.3), Raleigh, North Carolina (70.3), Charlotte, North Carolina (70.2) and Greeley, Colorado (66.4). These markets have a mix of strengths that make them attractive for buyers and sellers alike, such as low mortgage delinquencies, low rental vacancies, high relative affordability and a healthy ratio of building permits to job growth.
Denver, in particular, has been a consistent performer in the index, ranking first in both December 2022 and June 2023. The Mile High City boasts a strong and diverse economy, a high quality of life, a vibrant cultural scene and easy access to nature and outdoor recreation. Denver also has a relatively balanced housing market, with enough supply to meet the demand from both local and out-of-state buyers.
However, not all markets are as hot as Denver. Some of the coldest housing markets in June 2023 include New York City (54.8), San Francisco (55.1), Los Angeles (55.4), Honolulu (56.1) and San Jose (56.2). These markets are mostly located in expensive coastal areas that have been hit hard by the pandemic, as well as by the rise of remote work and education that has reduced the need for living close to urban centers. These markets also have low scores for housing supply and relative affordability, making them less appealing for buyers who are looking for more space and value.
The U.S. News Housing Market Index also reveals some interesting trends and changes that have occurred in the housing market over time. For instance, some of the most resilient markets that improved their index scores between December 2022 and June 2023 were Greeley (11.0 points), San Jose (10.9 points) and Miami (10.7 points). These markets benefited from an improving demand index, which measures the level of buyer interest and activity in a given market.
On the other hand, some of the most volatile markets that experienced significant drops in their index scores between December 2022 and June 2023 were Austin (-9.6 points), Nashville (-8.9 points) and Dallas-Fort Worth (-8.7 points). These markets suffered from a declining supply index, which measures the availability and affordability of homes for sale in a given market.
The U.S. News Housing Market Index provides a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in understanding the dynamics and trends of the U.S. housing market at a national or regional level. By using this interactive tool, users can gain insights into how different factors affect the performance and outlook of different housing markets, and how they compare with each other over time.