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5 hottest, coolest U.S. housing markets

San Francisco homes
Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

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The U.S. housing market is still hot, but bidding wars are easing a bit from the frenzied days of last summer, according to data from Movoto by OJO, a residential real estate search site.

Some 40 percent of homes sold in December fetched more than their list price, down from 41.1 percent in November. December marked the sixth consecutive month that competition had declined on a month-over-month basis.

Despite the cooldown in the second half of 2021, the housing market remains significantly hotter than it was a year ago. In December 2020, 30.9 percent of homes sold above list price.

The 5 hottest housing markets

California dominated the list of the most competitive housing markets:

  1. San Francisco. In the nation’s most competitive metro area, 67 percent of homes sold above list price. Homes in San Francisco sold for an average of $96,630 above list price.
  2. San Diego. Fully 55.9 percent of homes sold above list price, going for an average of $10,929 above list price.
  3. Los Angeles. While 54.9 percent of LA homes went above list price, the overall average price of homes was $3,285 below the asking price.
  4. Boston. Some 53.5 percent of homes fetched more than the asking price. Sales averaged $6,792 over listing price.
  5. Sacramento. Last month saw 51.7 percent of homes sell for more than the asking price. Overall, Sacramento homes went for an average of $1,576 above asking.

The 5 coolest housing markets

At the opposite end of the competitiveness scale, Florida led the way.

  1. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Virginia. In the nation’s least competitive metro area, just 5.1 percent of homes sold above list price in December.
  2. Pensacola, Florida. In the Panhandle metro area, 23.1 percent of homes went for less than the asking price in December.
  3. Fort Myers-Naples, Florida. In this metro area, 24.1 percent of homes sold above their list prices.
  4. Miami. The Miami market saw 24.9 percent of homes sell above their list price.
  5. West Palm Beach. In this South Florida metro area, 27.1 percent of properties exceeded their asking price.

Movoto by OJO is a unit of OJO Labs, a business partner of Bankrate.

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Written by
Jeff Ostrowski
Senior mortgage reporter
Jeff Ostrowski covers mortgages and the housing market. Before joining Bankrate in 2020, he wrote about real estate and the economy for the Palm Beach Post and the South Florida Business Journal.