These 3 California Cities Have The Hottest Real Estate In The U.S., According To This Ranking


“The survey says” examines various rankings and dashboards judging geographic locations while noting that these ratings are best viewed as a mix of art and data.

Buzz: California has claimed the top three cities on a national scoreboard of “hottest” real estate locations.

Source: Zillow ranked neighborhoods in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in several categories – I looked at the top 10 list of all cities, vacation spots, and college towns. These rankings took into account measures of real estate popularity (such as the number of Zillow searches) and demand (housing data such as inventory and price appreciation).


Best cities overall: South Lake Tahoe, Calabasas and Malibu top the charts. Granite Bay was No. 7. The rest of the Top 10: East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Evergreen, Colorado, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Lavallette, Southlake, Texas and Las Vegas.

Best Vacation Spots: California also took first place with South Lake Tahoe, and three towns in the San Bernardino Mountains made the Top 10 “hottest” places: Big Bear Lake had the third best score on this ranking; Lake Arrowhead was No. 4 and Crestline was 8th.

The Jersey Shore Lavallette finished second. The rest of the Top 10 was filled by Florida: Holmes Beach (5), Bonita Springs (6), Saint James City (7), Siesta Key (9) and Fort Myers Beach (10).

The best university towns: Claremont, home to five small schools, was ranked second in college town, behind Tempe (State of Arizona). The rest of the Top 10 was No. 3 Narragansett, RI (University of Rhode Island); then Provo, Utah (Brigham Young); Cambridge, Mass. (Harvard, MIT); Kettering, Ohio (Kettering College); Willimantic, Conn. (State of Eastern Connecticut); Edwardsville, Illinois (southern Illinois); River Falls, Wisconsin. (Wisconsin River Falls); and Druid Hills, Georgia (Emory).


Let me note that California has nine metropolitan areas on the list of the 100 most populous, according to census data. Their 33 million inhabitants in total represent 15% of the combined population of these major American regions.


Want to know the main reason why prices in California are high? Obviously, some people are considering buying in more than a few parts of the state, whether it’s an intrastate purchase or moving across state lines.


“Those who can now work remotely, at least occasionally, are exploring new opportunities in areas that offer relatively affordability and year-round outdoor living,” says Amanda Pendleton of Zillow.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at


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