The country’s hottest housing markets aren’t what you’d expect

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Smaller cities dominate

The hottest housing markets aren’t big cities or metros. According to new data, they’re smaller, outlying cities with more affordable housing and significantly more listing views than others. At the top of the list? That’d be Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Verify your new rate (Sep 20th, 2021)

The hottest housing markets

According to new data from, Fort Wayne, Indiana was the hottest housing market for the month of September. Homes are moving nine days faster than this time last year.

Smaller housing markets dominate the rest of the hottest list, too, with Rochester, New York at No. 2. Views on Rochester listings are up 13 percent over September 2018, while in No. 3 Pueblo, Colorado, they’re up a whopping 29 percent. 

Fortunately, prices aren’t rising in step with these markets’ popularity. In fact, listing prices in the five hottest markets are actually 32 percent lower than the national average.

First-time homebuyers: here’s where you can find affordable housing

Major metros aren’t so hot anymore

Major metro markets are continuing to decline in popularity. According to’s data, the largest 40 housing markets have dropped 15 spots, on average, in just the last year.

Hate traffic? These commuter-friendly metros might just be for you

Of those major markets, Charlotte, North Carolina has improved the most, ranking at No. 61 on the list of hottest markets — up from 103 last year. Listing views are up 14 percent in the city.

Cincinnati has also seen improvement, jumping 37 spots over the year. Homes are getting more views (up 13 percent), selling faster, and selling at higher price points (7 percent more than last year.) Overall, Western markets have improved more than those in other regions.

Verify your new rate (Sep 20th, 2021)

Get today’s mortgage rates

Are you looking to buy a house in one of these hot housing markets? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Sep 20th, 2021)