Maris Research

Smaller California Cities Top Our List of the Hottest U.S. Markets for Real Estate

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Golden State real estate has seen ups and downs in recent years, and based on this month’s analysis of data on®, it seems to be staging a comeback—but this time, the spotlight is on a different kind of metro.

California’s job opportunities, great weather, and beautiful landscapes used to be enough of a lure for home seekers to balance out prices that were among the highest in the nation. California markets, including San Francisco and San Jose, two of the most expensive markets in the nation, routinely dominated half of’s monthly roundup of the hottest markets in real estate. This ranking shows the metro areas where homes move fastest off the market and listings get the most views on our site.

But even before the pandemic, consumers were starting to back away from those stratospheric prices—and when lockdowns and layoffs went into effect, people really began to reorder their priorities, focusing on more affordable markets where you could get more space for the money, and not be too far from a major city where you might find employment.

In February, we saw a resurgence by California markets, which took the top three spots in our monthly ranking, and eight of

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