Adobe Stock

Metros in the Northeast and Midwest comprised the hottest housing markets in February, according to Realtor.com’s Market Hotness rankings. For the sixth time in the past year, the Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire metro topped the list as the hottest housing market in the United States.

Realtor.com’s ranking takes into account demand and the pace of the market to determine the hottest markets. Of the top 20 hottest markets, 13 were located in the Northeast and seven were located in the Midwest.

Rochester, New York; Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Columbus, Ohio, rounded out the top five hottest markets in February. Among the top 20 markets, homes stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in Manchester-Nashua (23 days) and Rochester (24 days). Of the 20 hottest markets, the median home price was the lowest in Springfield, Illinois, at $175,000.

While home prices increased just 0.3% nationwide on a year-over-year basis in February, the prices in the month’s hottest markets experienced more substantial price growth of 3.8% due to high demand.

However, February’s average price growth among the hottest markets was the lowest since August 2021, suggesting easing price growth is even occurring in markets where demand is strongest. Four of the nation’s hottest markets experienced price declines on an annual basis: Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin (-12.3%), Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut (-9.8%), Dayton-Kettering, Ohio (-0.7%), and Lancaster, Pennsylvania (-0.5%).

Of the 20 hottest markets in February, all but three—Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut; Reading, Pennsylvania; and Jefferson City, Missouri—were featured on the January list. Bridgeport was the highest-priced market on the February list, with a median listing price of $869,000. The median price in Reading and Jefferson City were $306,000 and $315,000, respectively. Norwich-New London, Connecticut; Rockford, Illinois; and New Haven-Milford, Connecticut, fell from the top 20 to ranks ranging from 23 to 32.

According to Realtor.com, Southern metros have experienced the most significant cooling over the past year. The three metros that fell the most in the rankings were located in Florida: Punta Gorda (down 172 spots), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (down 164 spots), and Cap Coral-Fort Myers (down 151 spots). Eight of the top 10 cooling markets were located in the South with the remaining two located in the West.

According to Realtor.com, large urban markets “heated up” in February, with the largest 40 markets across the country moving up 19 spots, on average, since February 2023. Homes in such markets spent 15 fewer days on the market than the U.S. median, according to Realtor.com.

Among the five most-improved markets, four were located in the West and one was located in the Midwest. The most improved markets were Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada (+141 spots), Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona (+76 spots), St. Louis, Missouri (+75 spots), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California (+60 spots), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California (+59 spots).