There’s no shortage of “hottest real estate market” lists that come across my desk. It amuses me that no two lists are ever the same. This got me thinking: clearly, there is no one standard of measurement for what makes a real estate market “hot,” or surely the lists would all agree. But, even for all the disagreement, I believe there are some universal criterion that put certain markets on many different lists time and time again. Thus, instead of offering you yet another quasi-subjective “hottest market” list, I’d like to suggest that we real estate agents and brokers start looking at the criteria that all the hottest markets have in common. Then, we can start trying to find or make hot markets on our own, without depending on information from mercurial secondary sources.
So, what do the “hottest markets” all seem to have in common?
Hot Real Estate Market Metrics
#1: A Thriving Economy
This is no surprise. When business is booming, there’s reason to rejoice… and to move in. A good economy means that money is moving, both out of and into people’s pockets. If you want a sustainable community, it has to go both ways, so it’s no wonder that markets in which the economy is fluid and healthy, you have plenty of people willing to buy.
#2: Job opportunities
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a good economy always means jobs. It can mean employment opportunities, but not always. Thus, the “hottest” markets will always be the ones with room for people to enter the thriving economy. Businesses can indeed grow without more creating more jobs; but when you have growth and new jobs, well then… this is where things start to get hot.
Yes, it’s a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: people will always consider their surroundings when it comes to settling down. Thus, the vineyards of California and the mountains of Colorado will always be a draw. But hey—location doesn’t always mean close to natural beauty (although it helps). Location can also indicate nearness to businesses, culture, art, and decent school systems. It can mean a bustling cityscape to some and a coastal town to others. Whatever your niche, be sure to check out markets that consider” location” on every front.
#4: Connection to Art and Culture
Speaking of location, it seems that people these days are hoping more and more to be close to cultural and art districts. This wasn’t always the case, but I, for one, am pleased to see people gravitating toward markets that can offer not just decent schools but a flourishing museum and performing arts scene. Perhaps the arts are growing in your area. This can only be a good thing, as all the hottest markets boast some form of cultural experience to residents.
#5: Cost of Living
Another classic criterion of hot markets, a low cost of living will always draw buyers. Low taxes, low interest rates, and low living fees mean affordability and luxury, since your dollar stretches further. This is one of the main reasons that cities in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas sneak onto many “hottest” lists.
#6: Family Friendliness
At the end of the day, people don’t just want houses. They want homes—a place to raise their families. That’s why there’s such an emphasis on art, culture, and school systems. Therefore, markets that offer low crime and plenty of family-friendly activities, such as pools, zoos, and playgrounds, will always top the hottest lists.
It’s a modern world, and we’re dealing with modern clients. Like it or not, they often want instant gratification, and this means properties that can stand up with the latest technology, such as smart appliances, the latest home security systems, and auto-adjusting temperature and air controls. With so many new neighborhoods going up that offer such amenities, you may be hard-pressed to sell homes without them.
Does this mean that you can’t make it selling real estate in an older neighborhood? Of course not! It only means it may not be the most viable market on the national map. However, this is where you come in. No matter if your current niche market is “hot” or not, you know all the local draws that make it a pleasant, peaceful, preferred place to live. Don’t let the fact that your market isn’t “hot” deter you from using its many selling points to draw in clients!
Think about it this way: Coastalliving.com says that markets on the coast are the “hottest.” Buildingsaltlake.com brags that Salt Lake is on the list of “hottest” markets. Biased much? Of course! So, don’t be afraid to be biased about your own market. Find out what makes your market “hot,” and sell it. Likely, there are many buyers looking for exactly what your market offers, so don’t be shy about playing up its many good qualities… especially if they’re on the list of criteria for hot markets!