Real Estate Madness - March Madness for Real Estate

Education & Training with Market Leader

March Madness has caused the Market Leader staff to become bracket-crazy, and NCAA men’s basketball simply isn’t enough to satiate our need for bracket-based competition. We thus decided to create “Real Estate Madness” and pit 64 U.S. cities against each other to see which one is the best city to live in.

Making this little real estate tournament also helped ease the pain of having my alma mater, the University of Washington, fail to make it into March Madness. I'm sure some of you have favorite NCAA men's basketball teams that were in the same boat. *Sigh* ... there's always next year.

Results of Round One


The bracket for the East region in Real Estate Madness, our version of the March Madness tournament


The bracket for the Midwest region in Real Estate Madness, our version of the March Madness tournament


Real Estate Madness - Round One - South


The bracket for the West region in Real Estate Madness, our version of the March Madness tournament

Click here to read the rationale behind our first round picks.

Real Estate Madness Tournament Structure Real Estate Madness is very similar to March Madness in that it places 64 competitors into a large bracket and then runs them through a single elimination tournament. Each city is given a ranking, or “seed,” between 1 and 16, and is matched up against a city with the opposite seed (i.e., 1 seeds are matched up against 16 seeds, 2 against 15, 3 against 14, and so on).

Real Estate Madness differs from March Madness in that the cities are split up by geographic region - East, Midwest, South and West - so that cities will only face off against their regional peers until the Final Four is reached.

How We Will Determine the Best U.S. City

To win Real Estate Madness, a city must be the best place to live in the U.S. What exactly does this mean?

Our staff will choose the winners of every round up until the Final Four. The only criteria for earning wins is this: cities that are pleasant and easy to live in will beat cities that make its denizens grumble and want to move away.

More specifically, cities with the following qualities (among others) will go far in Real Estate Madness:

  • Strong, diverse and robust economy
  • Excellent parks and outdoor recreation possibilities
  • Low crime rates
  • Good walkability
  • Manageable cost of living
  • Good public transportation
  • High quality of life
  • Superb local healthcare (quality and number of facilities)
  • Low unemployment

Please Provide Your Input!

We are also interested in getting your input! What city do you think should win it all? Did we goof up and pick the wrong city in any of the matchups? Were our rankings completely off from the get-go? Many of the winners were only determined after our team had long discussions about the merits of the two cities involved, and it's probable that we missed a couple of each city's strong points. 

Most importantly, support your favorite city ... Your votes will help us determine the winner of Real Estate Madness - the best city in the U.S.!

Posted by

Andy Fulton

Marketing Manager, Market Leader

110 110th Ave NE, Suite 700  Bellevue, WA 98004

p: 425-952-6531

Comments (7)

Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Well, Andy, you all chose some interesting cities to pit against each other. Anchorage or Honolulu? lol I've lived in both of those cities and they are two very different animals. Anyway, my vote goes for Kansas City. My top 3 favorite cities to live in are Kansas City MO, Honolulu HI, and Dublin Ireland. 

Mar 28, 2013 09:46 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Wow! According to your list of things you'll be judging by, Detroit never really had a chance anyway!

Mar 28, 2013 10:27 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

We are all about March Madness here in North Carolina. WE have NC State and UNC Chapel Hill that really are the star teams here in North Carolina.

For some reason, I thought that March Madness was only with the ACC.. I know that ..that is truly not right. The Sweet Sixteen has teams from all over the country..

Mar 28, 2013 11:56 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

My vote - for East - is Boston - a city (and state) with still, one of the lowest unemployment rate and city rarely felt the tough market (the condos in city of Boston were virtually flying even when the market was slow!) - so next round between Pittsburgh and Boston- Boston should be the winner.

Mar 28, 2013 03:36 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Andy - It looks like there are some interesting match ups here. 

Mar 28, 2013 04:44 PM
Marcia Hawken
Naples Luxury Specialist


You forgot Naples, Florida!  We are just twenty minutes from F.G.C.U.!  Florida Gulf Coast University is America's Team in the sweet sixteen. It is going to be 75 degrees today, I am going to walk on the beach in Pelican Bay and eat at nearby upscale restaurants. Naples, FL should be on your list!

Mar 28, 2013 08:17 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

You forgot Fort Wayne Indiana!  Our city has plenty of outdoor activities and fun things to do.  It was voted "Most Liveable City" numerous times.  It's growing with the Parkview Hospitals on Dupont and many other big developments.  Just a thought.  :)

Mar 28, 2013 11:19 PM