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States with the hottest real estate markets over the last 10 years

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States with the hottest real estate markets over the last 10 years

Whether to buy property in a particular area is often a decision that requires a fair amount of speculation. Sure, it's easy to see how a home's value has increased or decreased over time, but it can be nearly impossible to forecast how that value will change. Prospective buyers—whether they're first-timers or experienced real estate investors—often have to follow their gut instincts. There's no such thing as a sure thing, after all.

Of course, you can put your faith in a few hard facts. The current price of similarly sized homes for sale in the neighborhood can be a helpful barometer, as are the fluctuations in those homes' valuations. Perhaps the most useful data point, however, is the overall performance of the state's real estate market. To provide a quick snapshot of the country's real estate market overall, Stacker compiled a list of the states with the hottest real estate markets over the last 10 years using data from Zillow. The states are ranked from worst to best by the increase in average home value per square foot from 2010 to Sept. 1, 2019. Vermont was excluded from the list, as data was not available for that state.

Before you even find a real estate agent or set foot in an open house, do your homework on your state's real estate market. Understanding the health of the overall market will help you set your budget, choose a target neighborhood, and even eventually come up with an offer. Whether you're shopping around for your dream home with a white picket fence or just think owning real estate might be a good investment, knowing the market will make you a more informed—and possibly more successful—buyer.

Read on to find out where your state's real estate market ranks nationally and discover which state's average home value has nearly doubled over the past 10 years.

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#49. Connecticut

- 2010-2019 growth: -0.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $157 (#21 among all states)

Though Connecticut has a rather high median home value per square foot at $157, the state's real estate market has essentially stayed flat over the last 10 years. Homeowners in the Nutmeg State have seen only a slight decrease in value since 2010.

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#48. New Jersey

- 2010-2019 growth: 7.3%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $191 (#10 among all states)

New Jersey's real estate market saw an increase of just 7.3% since 2010, but much of that growth actually occurred after 2013. Just over 10% of New Jersey homes have negative equity—about two percentage points above the national average.

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#47. Delaware

- 2010-2019 growth: 8.7%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $137 (#27 among all states)

The median home value in Delaware saw a steep drop—from $223,000 to $184,000—starting in 2011, but has been steadily rebounding ever since. Hockessin, Delaware, a Philadelphia suburb, has the highest home prices in the state.

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#46. Louisiana

- 2010-2019 growth: 9.4%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $93 (#44 among all states)

With a median home value of just $93 per square foot, Louisiana ranks among the U.S. states with the least valuable homes. Still, this Southern state's real estate market has seen a steady growth of nearly 10% since 2010, when the median home value was just $125,000.

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#45. Illinois

- 2010-2019 growth: 10.7%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $134 (#28 among all states)

Slowly but steadily, the Illinois housing market has grown from a median home value of $163,000 in 2010 to $183,000 today. It's not all smooth sailing, though: Nearly 15% of Illinois homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, compared to the national average of 8.2%.

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#44. New Mexico

- 2010-2019 growth: 12.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $134 (#28 among all states)

Santa Fe has the most expensive real estate in New Mexico with a median home value of more than $311,000, while Albuquerque comes in second at $189,000. New Mexico listings typically spend about 68 days on Zillow in 2019, compared to the 148 days they spent online in 2010.

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#43. Maryland

- 2010-2019 growth: 12.7%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $186 (#12 among all states)

The picturesque naval town of Annapolis and D.C.-suburb of Silver Spring top the charts as the two most expensive communities in Maryland, with median home values of $400,000 and $390,000, respectively. Still, the statewide median home value hovers around $186 per square foot and $290,500 overall.

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#42. Alaska

- 2010-2019 growth: 14.2%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $193 (#9 among all states)

Alaska's housing market often experiences more ups and downs than other states, likely due to the smaller number of properties changing hands. Despite the relatively small size of the real estate market, however, Alaska has one of the highest median home values in the country at $193 per square foot.

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#41. Virginia

- 2010-2019 growth: 14.8%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $155 (#23 among all states)

With a median home value of $155 per square foot, Virginia sits squarely at the national average. Cities like Arlington and Fairfax are pushing that high valuation even higher, with median home valuations well above half a million dollars.

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#40. New York

- 2010-2019 growth: 17.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $154 (#24 among all states)

Unsurprisingly, notoriously expensive New York City tops the list of the cities in New York state with the highest median home value: $672,400. The median list price per square foot in New York City is a whopping $673, compared to the statewide value of $193. New York state's housing market has been steadily growing at a rate of 17.6% over the past 10 years.

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#39. Pennsylvania

- 2010-2019 growth: 19.2%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $124 (#31 among all states)

The Philadelphia suburb of West Chester has the highest median home values by far: Buyers can expect median home prices of $419,500, more than double the median home values in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, or Pittsburgh.

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#38. Mississippi

- 2010-2019 growth: 20%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $78 (#47 among all states)

Mississippi has the second lowest median home values per square foot in the entire country at a paltry $78 (tied with Alabama). That said, the market has grown considerably since 2014, when the Zillow home value index bottomed out at $96,300.

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#37. Kansas

- 2010-2019 growth: 22.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $103 (#41 among all states)

Kansas home prices have been steadily climbing since 2013, when they hit a low of $108,000. The neighboring cities of Overland Park, Lenexa, and Shawnee—all suburbs of Kansas City—had the highest median home values in the state.

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#36. West Virginia

- 2010-2019 growth: 22.8%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $70 (#49 among all states)

At just $70, West Virginia has the lowest median home value per square foot of any U.S. state. Though the state's real estate market has grown over 22% over the past 10 years, the median home value remains relatively low—only $99,000.

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#35. Wisconsin

- 2010-2019 growth: 23.2%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $138 (#26 among all states)

Madison and Waukesha are the only two cities in Wisconsin with median home values of more than $200,000, at $229,400 and $209,600, respectively. The average number of days Wisconsin homes spend on Zillow has dropped dramatically as the market has improved over the past 10 years, from a peak of 172 days to just 64 days today.

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#34. Missouri

- 2010-2019 growth: 25.0%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $115 (#35 among all states)

Missouri comes in just a few places ahead of its neighbor to the west, Kansas, thanks to a slightly higher median home value per square foot. The cities of O'Fallon and Lee's Summit had the two most expensive median home values, at $235,800 and $206,700.

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#33. Rhode Island

- 2010-2019 growth: 27.4%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $200 (#8 among all states)

This state on the Eastern seaboard had one of the highest median home values per square foot on this list—$200! Rhode Island's real estate market has seen steady growth since 2012, when the median home value was just $201,000.

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#32. Oklahoma

- 2010-2019 growth: 27.7%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $83 (#45 among all states)

Though Oklahoma's real estate market has grown more than a quarter since 2010, it still has one of the lowest median home values per square foot in the country. Still, Oklahoma homes spend an average of 69 days on Zillow today, compared to the average of 136 days they spent listed in 2012.

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#31. Alabama

- 2010-2019 growth: 27.9%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $78 (#47 among all states)

Alabama's real estate market has also made impressive gains since 2010 but has not moved up in the rankings for median home value, remaining tied with Mississippi for second lowest in the nation. Nearly 15% of homes in Alabama have negative equity, as well, which also indicates that there's still room for improvement.

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#30. South Carolina

- 2010-2019 growth: 27.9%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $110 (#37 among all states)

Summerville, Greer, and Greenville top the list as the three South Carolina cities with the priciest homes, on average. South Carolina's real estate market has grown steadily since 2010, and today, homes spend an average of 74 days on Zillow before selling.

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#29. Kentucky

- 2010-2019 growth: 28.4%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $104 (#40 among all states)

Over 10% of Kentucky homes have negative equity, which is higher than the national average of 8.2%. Despite that and the relatively low median home value per square foot, the Kentucky real estate market has grown more than a quarter since 2010.

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#28. New Hampshire

- 2010-2019 growth: 28.5%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $167 (#19 among all states)

Buying a home in New Hampshire will cost you significantly more than in its neighbors on this list, as its median home value per square foot of $167 means many cities see median home values of nearly $300,000. In Salem, per instance, the median home value is $299,600; in Hudson, it's $278,400.

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#27. Arkansas

- 2010-2019 growth: 28.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $81 (#46 among all states)

A whopping 14% of Arkansas homeowners have negative equity in their homes. Still, the Arkansas real estate market has made slow but steady growth since 2010, when the median home value was just $98,200.

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#26. North Carolina

- 2010-2019 growth: 28.9%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $116 (#34 among all states)

The upmarket Raleigh suburb of Cary, North Carolina has the highest median home values in the state at $336,400. That's more than $100,000 more than neighboring Raleigh, where the median home value is just $221,100.

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#25. Ohio

- 2010-2019 growth: 28.9%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $98 (#42 among all states)

Ohio homes spend an average of 61 days on Zillow today—less than half the time homes spent listed in 2010, when it peaked at 149. That's another sign of a healthy market, in addition to the median home value's 28.9% growth.

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#24. Wyoming

- 2010-2019 growth: 30.2%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $181 (#15 among all states)

Cheyenne is the only Wyoming city with a median home value of over $200,000—Lander comes close at $191,300, but Casper is further behind at $178,900. However, Wyoming has the 15th highest median home value per square foot in the nation.

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#23. Iowa

- 2010-2019 growth: 33.7%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $119 (#33 among all states)

Interestingly, the Des Moines suburbs of Urbandale and Ankeny have significantly higher median home values than Des Moines proper: Urbandale clocks in at $225,100 and Arkeny at $212,300, while Des Moines hovers at $120,300.

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#22. Montana

- 2010-2019 growth: 35.0%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $189 (#11 among all states)

Though Montana has a high median home value per square foot, none of its cities have especially high home values. Missoula leads the pack with a median home value of $240,700, with Billings in second at $204,800.

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#21. Maine

- 2010-2019 growth: 35.1%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $177 (#16 among all states)

Maine's real estate market has grown more than a third since 2010, when the median home value was $172,000. Today, that value is closer to $238,000.

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#20. Indiana

- 2010-2019 growth: 36.1%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $98 (#42 among all states)

The affluent city of Carmel, Ind. has the highest median home value in the state at $301,100—over $100,000 more than the second-best city. The area's top-notch schools, a beautiful greenway, and safe community help it rank as one of the best places to live in the country.

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#19. Massachusetts

- 2010-2019 growth: 37.0%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $252 (#3 among all states)

With a median home value of $252 per square foot, Massachusetts has some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Boston suburbs like Newton and Cambridge top the list as some of the cities with the highest home values, at $982,600 and $726,000, respectively.

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#18. South Dakota

- 2010-2019 growth: 38.2%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $170 (#18 among all states)

The South Dakota real estate market is solidly in the center of the pack, with 38.2% growth over the past 10 years and a median home value per square foot of $170. Today, South Dakota homes spend an average of 68 days on Zillow.

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#17. Minnesota

- 2010-2019 growth: 38.3%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $184 (#13 among all states)

In the past 10 years, Minnesota median home values hit their low at $147,000 in 2012 but have since rebounded to $240,000. Both the number of homes with negative equity and homeowners delinquent on their mortgages also fall below the national average.

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#16. Georgia

- 2010-2019 growth: 41.9%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $105 (#39 among all states)

The Atlanta suburb of Cumming and the neighboring city of Marietta top the list of Georgia cities with the highest median home values at $281,800 and $255,900, respectively. That's significantly higher than the statewide value of $194,000.

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#15. Tennessee

- 2010-2019 growth: 42.1%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $108 (#38 among all states)

The picturesque city of Franklin, Tenn. has the highest median home values by far in the state: At $427,900, home values in Franklin surpass those of nearby Nashville by almost $200,000. Other major cities like Johnson City and Chattanooga have median home values in the mid $100,000s.

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#14. Hawaii

- 2010-2019 growth: 43%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $502 (#1 among all states)

Given Hawaii's scarcity of land and high cost of building materials, it's no surprise that real estate in this island state is so expensive. The median home value in Hawaii is the highest in the nation at $502 per square foot. That's $144 per square foot more than California, the state with the second-highest median home value per square foot.

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#13. Nebraska

- 2010-2019 growth: 43.8%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $128 (#30 among all states)

Besides the state's incredible 43.8% growth since 2010, Nebraska also has some encouraging numbers related to homeownership. Nebraska actually falls below the national average for both homes with negative equity and homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments.

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#12. North Dakota

- 2010-2019 growth: 48.4%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $184 (#13 among all states)

The median home value in North Dakota has grown since 2010, when prices were at a 10-year low of $135,000. Today, the average North Dakota home has a median home value of $210,000, and some cities like Bismark and West Fargo have median home values that are even higher.

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#11. Texas

- 2010-2019 growth: 52.1%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $111 (#36 among all states)

Plano, Texas—once labeled the safest city in the nation—and hip Austin, Texas top the list as the two Texas cities with the highest median home values at $327,400 and $321,600, respectively. Today, Texas homes spend an average of 65 days listed on Zillow.

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#10. Oregon

- 2010-2019 growth: 53.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $215 (#7 among all states)

It's not terribly surprising that the highest median home values in Oregon can be found in popular destinations like trendy Portland and picturesque Bend. Both cities have median home values well above the statewide median of $350,600.

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#9. Washington

- 2010-2019 growth: 55.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $249 (#4 among all states)

Washington has a very high median home value at $249 per square foot—in fact, it's the fourth highest in the nation. That translates into high median home values, like $819,700 in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue and $670,300 in Seattle proper.

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#8. Utah

- 2010-2019 growth: 56.8%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $243 (#6 among all states)

In 2012, Utah's real estate market had its lowest median home value in 10 years at $192,000. Today, the state has rebounded to a median home value of $351,000.

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#7. Arizona

- 2010-2019 growth: 64.2%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $156 (#22 among all states)

Scottsdale—a popular destination for golfers, retirees, and vacationers looking to relax in one of the city's high-end spas—has the highest median home value in Arizona at $421,200. Despite Arizona's incredible growth in the past 10 years, it still has a relatively low median home value per square foot at $156.

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#6. Florida

- 2010-2019 growth: 65.6%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $149 (#25 among all states)

Since 2012 when Florida median home values hit their 10-year low at $123,000, they have nearly doubled: Today, the median home value is $237,900. The cities of Naples, Miami, and Hialeah have the highest median home values in the state.

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#5. California

- 2010-2019 growth: 66.5%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $358 (#2 among all states)

Home to the second-highest median home values per square foot in the nation, California's real estate market has grown an astonishing 66.5% since 2010. Median home values vary widely in the Golden State, from an eye-popping $1,194,300 in San Francisco and $629,900 in Los Angeles to $299,200 in Sacramento.

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#4. Idaho

- 2010-2019 growth: 67.0%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $167 (#19 among all states)

Idaho's real estate market has grown so much in the past 10 years that homes now spend an average of just 51 days listed on Zillow (down from 153 in 2010). The family friendly Boise suburb of Eagle has the highest median home values in the state at $349,900.

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#3. Michigan

- 2010-2019 growth: 71.8%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $122 (#32 among all states)

Though Michigan's statewide median home value is just $154,500, cities like the college town of Ann Arbor and the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights easily surpass that. Ann Arbor's median home value has climbed to $333,700, while Sterling Heights hovers at $185,300.

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#2. Colorado

- 2010-2019 growth: 75.9%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $248 (#5 among all states)

With a growth rate of 75.9% over the past 10 years, Colorado has the second hottest real estate market in the nation. It also has a relatively high median home value at $248 per square foot and an overall median home value of $381,300

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#1. Nevada

- 2010-2019 growth: 92.1%
- Median home value per sq. ft.: $171 (#17 among all states)

Nevada's real estate market has grown an incredible amount since 2010—92.1%, to be exact. Today, cities Gardnerville, Reno, and Sparks have the highest median home values in the state, at $326,800, $317,100, and $281,800, respectively.

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