Top 10 hottest real estate markets: San Francisco, San Jose… and Vallejo?’s new national “Hotness Index” is once again top-heavy with Bay Area markets. No surprise there.

Because of the region’s housing supply (ridiculously low) and demand from buyers (high, like always), the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area is No. 1 on the January list, and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area is No. 2.

More of a surprise is that the Top 10 includes several not-so-distant metros where Bay Area commuters increasingly have been buying homes at relatively affordable prices.

We’re talking about Vallejo (No. 3), Sacramento (No. 6), Yuba City (No. 7), Stockton (No. 9) and Fresno (No. 10).

And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you: Those markets — less than chic, until recently — are among the 10 hottest in the entire country, according to Realtor. com. Its “Hotness Index” identifies where houses are selling most quickly — and which markets are generating the most listing views on

In November, the Mercury News spoke with Jonathan Smoke,’s chief economist, who noted some dissonance underlying the index. In other words, while Northern California markets have continued to dominate the index, they are in some ways not nearly as hot as they once were. They are simultaneously “hot” and “cooling,” he said, because the rate of price appreciation has decreased across the Bay Area.

“The actual prices on closed homes are decelerating in relation to the unsustainable prices we’ve seen in the past year or two,” he said. “So the unsustainable places are still hot — but relative to the last couple of years, they’re not as hot as they once were.”

Next week, the Mercury News plans to report on the state of the Bay Area market when CoreLogic, the real estate information service, releases its new analysis of sales and median prices across the nine counties.

In the meantime, read the November interview with Smoke, here.

And take a look at’s Top 10 “Hotness” list for January:


Photo: A home for sale in Palo Alto. (Paul Sakuma/AP)


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Share this Post

  • seamus mcdermott

    I love Vallejo. Lots of police chases. Young black men driving around town in their mobile loudspeaker systems at all hours. About every other night I can hear gunfire from my front porch. Only twice have I heard fully automatic gunfire, and that was probably from passing Oakland gang members. Four or five armed robberies every week. Pawn shop owner shot to death in broad daylight, along with his DOG. I’m not making this up. I have personally witnessed two shootings, one kidnapping, innumerable high speed chases, mail thefts. Add in a few wife beatings and our famous burglary rate (3,000 burglaries in Vallejo last year alone! Might be the highest in the Bay Area!) and you have a real “hot” market alright. You’ll have Nortenos (red bandanas) for neighbors if you live in the north end of town, and Surenos (blue bandanas) if you live in the south end of town. In between is the daily battle ground. City hall is a campsite for homeless people. Graffiti erupts everywhere, and the city will issue you a $260 citation if you don’t remove it right away. Pure Joy! Come to Vallejo and live the good life. It will be a short life, but it will be a good life. LOL.

    • seamus mcdermott

      Oh, sorry, I forgot the “side shows” which start on Friday nights and run through the weekend. Lots of people burning donuts in stolen cars. Round and round they go. Oops, hit dat parked car. Who was driving? Nobody knows. Traffic enforcement? Not there. They ain’t crazy. Those brothas packing heat.

  • seamus mcdermott
  • Bucky

    I’be lived in Vallejo for 3 years and have seen no illegal activity at all. I have enjoyed the water front restaurants the parks and look forward to attending a couple of Admirals games. The people I’ve met have been nice and the shopping is convenient and good. My one complaint, we need a Trader Joe’s ! ! !

  • Massimo D’Incognito

    Vallejo is home. Shhhhhh. Stop telling people how nice it is! Anybody who says that it is nothing but a poverty and crime-stricken community hasn’t spent much time here. Come see it for yourself before judging it through the media. Wonderful waterfront, multiple colleges, 4 golf courses, lots of park space, affordable real estate. Sounds miserable!