Top-Ranked Real Estate Markets for the Year

Aspects of the industry are normalizing (i.e., reverting closer to their pre-COVID patterns), while others appear to have sustained permanent shifts to a “new normal”, following the pandemic-induced changes in how and where we use different types of properties.


Reinforced in this year’s Emerging Trends is the dominance of “magnet” markets, many of which are in warmer Sun Belt regions. They top the Emerging Trends “Markets to Watch” standings, while the number of markets in cold-weather climates in the Northeast and Midwest decline in ranking.


Almost all of this year’s survey of top-ranked real estate markets are in faster-growing southern and western regions and away from the coasts. Nashville was once again the top-rated metro area, while the Dallas/Fort Worth area jumped five spots from a year ago to become the number two-ranked market. The Atlanta metro area scored higher in this year’s survey, jumping to the number three-ranked spot from number eight last year.


Quality of life and affordability play a big role in where people choose to live, and many of the markets that received relatively lower scores this year have inadequate infrastructure for their population size and growth.


Raleigh, Phoenix and Charlotte fell in rankings this year but still remain in the top 10. Reflecting slower coastal growth, Seattle exited our top 10 list, but Miami climbed up to secure the number seven ranking.