Housing heat index: Where does Florida rank?

Throughout most of the country, the real estate market has been booming for some time now. With this said, some markets have certainly been hotter than others. Of course, over the past year, the pandemic has been a major driver for Americans looking to move. In search of more space and affordability, there has certainly been a shift from higher cost of living states to less expensive locales.

Recently, Bankrate.com published their “Housing Heat Index” for Q1 2021. This index focused on the following data points:

  • annual home price appreciation for the first quarter as reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index
  • share of mortgages past due for the first quarter as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association
  • unemployment rate for March from the U.S. Labor Department
  • annual job growth as of March from the U.S. Labor Department
  • the cost of living index for 2020 from the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
  • state-by-state tax burdens for the 2020-21 fiscal year as reported by the Tax Foundation

As expected, the index did overweight price appreciation as this most strongly reflects a market’s desirability.

The 5 states with the hottest real estate markets

According to this report, the 5 states with the hottest real estate markets were as follows:

  • #1: Utah
  • #2: South Dakota
  • #3: Montana
  • #4: New Hampshire
  • #5: Idaho

The 5 states with the coolest real estate markets

  • #47: llinois
  • #48: New York
  • #49: Washington D.C.
  • #50: Louisiana
  • #51: Hawaii

Where does Florida rank?

The Sunshine State ended up with an overall ranking of 25th in the Housing Heat Index. As for Florida’s ranking in the specific categories analyzed, the results were as follows:

  • Appreciation rank: 24th
  • Past-due loans rank: 41st
  • Job growth rank: 32nd
  • Unemployment rank: 19th
  • Cost of living rank: 25th
  • Tax rank: 4th


As we have written about previously, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many Americans to move out of more expensive markets in search of better affordability. This is particularly true for those that have the ability to work remotely. A perfect example of this is the state of Utah. The Beehive State came in the top spot for the Housing Heat Index study. Needless to say, this was in large part due to the number of Californians fleeing to a lower cost of living.

Although Florida came in ranked in the middle at #25, this is not entirely surprising either. The reason for this is the robust growth that the Sunshine State has experienced since before the pandemic. According to this study, past-due loans rank and job growth rank were the two areas that Florida ranked lower in, thus dropping their ranking to #25. Nonetheless, we are continuing to see steady migration to our state, particularly from the Northeast states.

Are you looking to move to Florida? We can help. Contact Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! You will be glad that you did.

By natasha@livesouthfl.com

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.