Huntsville dropped from 15th to 28th in the fall 2022 edition of the Wall Street Journal/ Emerging Housing Markets Index released Tuesday.

According to the index, Huntsville is still the only Alabama city to crack the top 150.

“The markets that departed the top 20 in our index are mostly high-priced West region markets, plus the Southern markets of Huntsville, AL, Durham-Chapel Hill, NC and Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY,” the report states. “As economic conditions have changed since earlier in the year, with mortgage rates rising sharply, these more expensive markets have fallen out of favor.”

The Wall Street Journal/ Emerging Housing Markets Index ranks the 300 biggest metro areas in the United States by aspects such as real estate supply, demand and appreciation. The index also uses economic and quality of life aspects for its rankings like wages, amenities and real estate taxes.

Five of the top 20 markets in the third quarter were in Florida, including North Port in the No. 4 spot, Tampa at No. 11, Cape Coral at No. 12, Naples at No. 16 and Orlando at No. 18, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to, “the impact of higher rates is dampening home purchase sentiment and shaping homebuyer preferences, making affordability, which was already a top consideration as noted in our Summer, Spring, and Winter 2022 releases, even more important.”

“However, even as the number of homes for sale increases, a home that fits the budget has become harder to find, especially for first-time home buyers who lack home equity to rely on,” the report states. “This has prompted shoppers to significantly broaden their search horizons, with interstate home shopping continuing to make up a majority of shopping.”

Other Alabama metro areas in the Fall 2022 Wall Street Journal/ Emerging Housing Markets Index (area, ranking):

  • Decatur, 152

  • Mobile, 165

  • Columbus (Georgia and Alabama), 180

  • Auburn-Opelika area, 190

  • Birmingham-Hoover area, 193 

  • Dothan, 210 

  • Florence-Muscle Shoals, 227

  • Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, 247 

  • Montgomery, 249 

  • Tuscaloosa, 290

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