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Will big cities become the next hot housing markets for pandemic-weary buyers?

As the COVID-19 pandemic dragged on, more remote communities—mainly suburbs and smaller cities—emerged as real estate victors during a time when buyers sought out affordability and more space in places with fewer people to worry about. However, that trend could now be moving in reverse as more populated, pricier housing markets popped up on the quarterly Wall Street Journal/® Emerging Housing Markets Index. The index is a look at the real estate markets that economists believe will be strong in the months ahead.

While none of the nation’s biggest cities, like New York City or Los Angeles, made this list, the average populations of the top 20 emerging markets topped 500,000 residents in this quarter. That’s more than a 100,000-person rise from the previous quarter.