Climate and environmental concerns in 2023's hottest housing markets

As affordability and other factors drive homebuyers to new cities, AreaHub data shows critical climate and environmental concerns in 2023’s predicted top real estate markets in America.

The U.S. housing market, buffeted by higher mortgage rates and affordability challenges, is shifting. In 2023, relatively affordable cities dominate Zillow’s predictions for the hottest housing markets. Yet affordability is not the only thing on the minds of homebuyers and homeowners. As the impacts of intensifying climate and environmental risks continue to grow, 58% of U.S. homeowners have invested in making their homes more resilient to climate threats.

Homebuyers and homeowners should be equipped with the information they need to make healthier and wiser choices. AreaHub, a one-stop platform for local climate and environmental hazard information, provides the tools to understand local environmental issues for any address in the United States. From pollution to industrial hazards, extreme weather, and more, people can uncover the impact that environmental hazards may have on their health and property values. 

Using the “10 Hottest Housing Markets in 2023” ranking by Zillow®, AreaHub aggregated environmental issues in these cities across multiple data topics to help people and businesses make more informed choices about the locations on their radar.

This year’s housing market report, “Climate and Environmental Concerns in 2023's Hottest Housing Markets” highlights the top hazards for the most popular markets, including:

  • All of the hottest housing markets have moderate air quality levels (AQI > 50) at best.
  • Multiple brownfields can be found within a 5-mile radius of all the hottest housing markets in 2023.  Brownfields are abandoned or unused properties that may be contaminated. 

  • Oil, gas, or fracking wells can be found near 40% of the hottest housing markets in 2023.

  • 70% of the hottest housing markets in 2023 have at least one Superfund site nearby, which are heavily contaminated sites that are deemed dangerous to the environment and people.

  • Half of the hottest housing markets in 2023 are at moderate risk or worse, of potentially destructive tornadoes.

  • 40% of the top cities in 2023 are located in counties with elevated average indoor radon, a naturally-occurring invisible gas that is a leading cause of lung cancer.


AreaHub aggregated environmental issues across multiple data topics for the cities on Zillow’s “10 Hottest Housing Markets in 2023” ranking. Using publicly available datasets provided by credible sources, AreaHub uses a proprietary geospatial algorithm that incorporates data from a variety of accepted third-party sources. The report results depend on location and the availability and accuracy of the data available in a particular region. Some areas have more detailed information than others.

Additionally, some datasets are more location-specific than others. For example, natural hazard results are based on census tracts, while industrial hazard results are based on a 5-mile radius from the center point of the search.