The picturesque lakeside city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, tops the list of the country’s hottest emerging housing markets, according to a new ranking launched Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Market Index identifies the top metro areas for home buyers seeking an appreciating housing market and appealing lifestyle amenities.

After Coeur d’Alene, the top metro areas in the ranking are Austin, Texas, Springfield, Ohio, and Billings, Mont. Spokane, Wash., just across the state border from Coeur d’Alene, ranks fifth.

Buyers from other Western states are moving to northern Idaho in droves, seeking a more rural and less expensive place to live, said Kristen Johnson, a real-estate agent at Century 21 Beutler & Associates in Coeur d’Alene. Workers able to work remotely are also choosing to relocate, she said.

“Even though it’s a city, it’s definitely got…

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