Hottest Housing Markets For 2012? Depends On Who You Ask…

housing markets

© Lorelyn Medina -

As the new year begins, the lists of the top housing markets for 2012 are out. The primary economic sectors driving the majority of the “top” housing markets are military bases, large medical centers, large universities and educational facilities. Technology is a major force in some specific cities, such as San Jose, CA and Salt Lake City, UT. And in the midwest, a boom in farm prices is driving housing prices higher.

Check out this list of hottest markets from Realtor Magazine. Most, if not all, are closely associated with military bases, hospitals or universities.

The “hottest” housing markets are based on data such as the anticipated increase in prices, which is generally the most common benchmark used. Texas has cities on virtually every list, with military bases, the oil industry and education the major driving forces there.

Here are a few more of the “hottest housing market” lists for 2012:

5 Of The Best and Worst for 2012 from MSN

Bloomberg’s list probably has a more balanced approach with their detailed analysis of pricing trends leading into 2012. The trends are not quite so rosy as some lists would have us think. But they do confirm that a rebound and even a little boom is underway in the midwest, driven by rising crop prices.

Wherever you are located, one thing is for sure, every city and town is a housing market unto itself. While major factors such as interest rates and monetary policy can affect the entire nation, the factors that drive home sales activity are pretty much a function of the local employment picture. The better the jobs are locally, the better the housing market is locally.

In spite of the fact that unemployment is still hovering near record levels, cities that have the best job market locally will also tend to be the areas where home buyers are more active, and home prices will tend to rise.

If you are a landlord with rental property, the same theme holds true. Landlords in those markets where the local economy is adding jobs at a faster pace than the national average will be in better shape to cash flow in 2012.

Whether you are a builder, an investor or a home buyer, it’s important to keep the local market economics in mind when making real estate decisions. If you choose the location of your next project, or the location of your next home near the primary sectors driving the local economy, the chances are that your property will be more likely to appreciate instead of losing value.

The 3 primary sectors driving the U.S. economy at present are military, Education, Healthcare. If your local market has a strong presence in these three sectors, it’s a pretty good bet that 2012 will be a good year, even if you didn’t make any of the “hottest market” lists. 🙂

Editors Note: Feel free to comment here on your particular market and what is driving it or what’s dragging it down. We’d like to hear what our readers are seeing in your individual markets.