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Why Phoenix isn't the hottest market in the U.S. — or is it?

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Posted at 8:47 AM, Jan 27, 2021

More than 100 national real estate experts and economists picked Austin, Texas, over Phoenix as the hottest housing market in 2021, but local experts aren't so sure they know what they're talking about.

These national economists surveyed by Zillow Group Inc., expect home values in Austin to grow faster than Phoenix.

But at this point, it's really just splitting hairs, said Chris Glynn, a senior economist at Zillow.

"Both are incredibly hot markets with strong similarities — relative affordability compared to some other large markets, great cultural attractions and the amenities and services of world-class cities," he said, adding great weather and year-round outdoor living to the list.

"If there is a difference," he said, "it may come from questions over how long the recent run of rapid home value growth in Phoenix can last."

Phoenix has been growing aggressively for a long time, and Austin may have a bit more room to run in this regard, he said.

"This may explain why panelists expressed a higher degree of confidence in Austin outperforming the U.S. than Phoenix in 2021," Glynn said.

Read more of this subscription-only story from the Business Journal.