Billings real estate market ranks hottest in the country

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Construction materials sit on lots to the west of Presidio Lane and Matador Avenue as home construction fills in land in the northwest corner of the Billings Heights Tuesday.

CASEY PAGE, Billings Gazette ROB ROGERS

Home sales in Billings this summer are as hot as the heat wave that’s camped out over the city.

The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com have ranked Billings No. 1 in the nation on its Emerging Housing Markets Index, citing the city’s “affordability and appeal to remote workers.”

Billings’ hot housing market first caught national attention in April when the Journal ranked it as the county’s fourth-hottest emerging housing market, just ahead of Spokane, Washington, and just behind Springfield, Ohio. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was ranked first. Tuesday’s list now places it second.

Following Billings and Coeur d’Alene, Tuesday’s new rankings place Fort Wayne, Indiana, as third, Rapid City, S.D., as fourth and Raleigh, N.C. as fifth. 

The Journal noted that smaller cities dominated its list, with the average population of the top 20 communities at about 300,000. 

“Billings, the biggest

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