You can learn a lot about what market’s hot and what’s not by looking up how much U-Haul charges for rentals of moving trucks to and from different cities. If U-Haul charges a lot to go to a certain city, it means lots of trucks are heading there. The city is popular and trucks that are leaving it are deadheading—going back empty. On the other hand, U-Haul gives better deals on trucks that are going to unpopular cities, because it needs to get more trucks to those cities to handle outbound trips.
Going by the U-Haul measure, San Jose is a lot colder than Phoenix. It costs $1,307 to rent a 26-foot truck from San Jose to Phoenix on June 30, but only $132 to go the opposite direction. You can plug in your own city pairs by visiting the U-Haul website.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.