The 3 States With the Most Active Housing Markets May Surprise You

By Nathan Hamilton Markets Fool.com

There are 2,092 miles between the West Coast and the East Coast. Buried in those thousands of miles are housing markets hitting peaks, cooling down, heating up, and everything in between.

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In the video segment below, Motley Fool analysts Nathan Hamilton and Kristine Harjes discuss three states with the most active housing markets. Is your state on the list?

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Kristine Harjes: When you're looking at getting a mortgage, one of the important things to consider is how hot the market in your local area is.

Nathan Hamilton: Yep.

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Harjes: We were doing some research, trying to help our foolish listeners out, and we came across a great article from NerdWallet that broke down by state how active the housing markets are. The results were a little bit surprising.

Hamilton: Yes, essentially NerdWallet looked at loan origination, which is essentially applied-for mortgages and subsequently funded, and it's a proxy that you can look at for where there are hotter housing markets. There's more transactions, there's more turning of houses. Specifically, if you look at the top three, you're going to see these in a very central area of the country -- well, Southwest-ish area. But Colorado was the highest at 16.6 origination's per 1,000 residents. If you look at Idaho, 14.6 and Utah 15.4.

Harjes: Right, and those are fairly high numbers compared to what you would see in other parts of the country. If you are somebody in one of these states, what does that actually mean for you?

Hamilton: Yes, so you want to look at if it is a hotter market, that typically means that the buyers are going to be at a disadvantage, certainly as a seller's market. In those markets, there may be more people paying cash, or there may be more buyers that are fully prepared to turn around on an offer within a week, within a couple of days. Getting pre-approved is very important. Pre-approval, what it does it essentially ... You go through the whole origination process, and you get approved through your lender for a specific mortgage amount. You know what your rates are going to be. You have the terms on paper. You're essentially ready to go. You've done all the preparation, all the legwork. If you do see a house that you do fall in love with, and their are multiple offers, you can come and say, "Okay, here's my offer. I'm a serious buyer," and the seller will take you more seriously.

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