Top 10 Red-Hot Housing Markets to Watch in 2016

Existing U.S. Home Sales Rise to Second-Highest Since 2007
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The hottest housing market to watch in the new year is not among those that regularly make the news for high demand and quick sales.

Instead, Providence, Rhode Island, scored the top spot because it's "just now seeing signs of recovery based on substantially better economic conditions forecasted for next year," according to Realtor.com.

The real estate website identified the United States' 10 most up-and-coming metropolitan markets for 2016 after predicting future values for home sales and prices for the 100 largest markets.

In Rhode Island's capital, for example, existing home sales and median sale price are each projected to increase by 10 percent next year.

Realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke explains to CNN Money:
"Providence is closely connected to Boston, which continues to show incredible economic growth. There is a quite a bit of positive spillover effect."
Boston came in No. 10 on Realtor.com's hot list for 2016. Its existing home sales are projected to increase by 10 percent and its median sale price by 6.09 percent.
Boston made the list for a different reason than Providence, however. Smoke explains on Realtor.com that several different underlying dynamics helped land cities in the website's top 10 for 2016:
  • Some markets have been hot and remain hot (San Diego, Sacramento, Boston, Atlanta).
  • Some markets are just now seeing signs of recovery based on substantially better economic conditions forecast for next year (Providence; New Orleans; Virginia Beach, Virginia; St. Louis).
  • Some markets are spillover markets from very hot markets (Providence; Sacramento, California).
Most markets have one or more key demographic driving demand. Those key demographics are:
  • Older millennials (25 to 34 years old)
  • Younger members of Generation X (35 to 44 years old)
  • Retirees (65 to 74 years old)
The top-ranked cities are:
  1. Providence, Rhode Island
  2. St. Louis
  3. San Diego
  4. Sacramento, California
  5. Atlanta
  6. New Orleans
  7. Memphis, Tennessee
  8. Charlotte, North Carolina
  9. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  10. Boston
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