Everyone wants to get in early on the next big thing, whether it’s the latest electronic gadget or an online currency that’s about to take off. And real estate is no different.

All across the country, prices are rising to new heights as the number of homes for sale has dwindled to new lows. While offers of over asking price have become practically standard in this turbocharged market—one in which the COVID-19 pandemic has led many folks to seek out larger homes with more land—some housing markets are still doing better than others, and are likely to remain the places to be even when the worst of the pandemic has passed.

The Realtor.com® economics team and the Wall Street Journal’s data team identified the top markets of 2021, and beyond, in the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index. They identified the areas with strong housing demand and rising prices combined with robust economies, lots…

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