Tampa, Florida, leads several Sun Belt cities that Zillow predicts will be among the most competitive housing markets in the United States this year.

Tampa, Florida, could be the hottest real estate market of 2022, according to an analysis released Tuesday by Zillow. 

The Gulf Coast city was one of the several Sun Belt cities the online listings portal expects to be the most competitive in the United States, with job and home price growth coupled with the millennial generation reaching its peak homebuying age expected to drive a competitive housing market. 

The top 10 list was dominated by sun belt cities including Jacksonville, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; and San Antonio, Texas. Buyers are drawn to those cities by lower housing costs, increasing economic opportunities and the opportunity for year-round outdoor recreation, according to Zillow economist Alexandra Lee. 

“Home buyers are attracted to markets in the Sun Belt that offer relative affordability, fast-growing economies and weather that allows them to enjoy the outdoors year-round,” Lee said in a statement. “Across the board, sellers will remain in the driver’s seat, but especially so in the hottest markets. Buyers should be ready for strong competition for homes, which means bidding wars and homes flying off the market only days after they are listed.”

During a year where the white-hot housing market is expected to cool slightly, researchers predict Tampa and other Sun Belt cities will buck that national trend, with Tampa home values predicted to grow 24.6 percent, far ahead of the national forecast of 14.3 percent in growth. 

Last year Zillow predicted Austin, Texas would be the hottest market of the year, and their prediction appears to have played out, with home prices in the tech hub rising 33.5 percent in the third quarter of 2021, and the National Association of Realtors declaring it the hottest housing market in December. Austin fell to number 10 for this year’s prediction of hottest markets.    

Traditionally expensive big cities like New York and San Francisco are forecasted to be among the coolest markets in the country as COVID remains persistent and remote work continues to be prevalent. 

Economists predict New York, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Chicago, and San Jose to be among the coolest markets of 2022, but buyers shouldn’t expect extraordinary deals in any of those locales, with home values expected to grow by at least 10 percent over the next year in all of the city’s except San Francisco — which is expected to grow by 9.9 percent. 

Email Ben Verde

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