We’ve predicted a slight slowdown for the U.S. real estate market next year, but the realtor.com® economic team is forecasting that most of the nation’s hottest markets are going to keep blazing in 2017. And where will it be hottest? Head west! According to our forecasts, the western U.S. will continue to lead the nation in prices and sales.
“The top 10 markets all benefit from strong growth dynamics: population, jobs, and households,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com’s chief economist, who analyzed the country’s 100 largest metropolitan markets for their growth potential. “They all have low unemployment that’s heading lower, which buoys consumer confidence.”
Western cities account for 11 of the top 25 metro markets on our list, including five in California. But whatever their location, all the top markets have in common relatively affordable rental prices, low unemployment, large populations of millennials and baby boomers, as well as a high number of listing views on realtor.com. The top 10 are forecast to see average price gains of 5.8% and sales growth of 6.3%, exceeding next year’s anticipated national growth of 3.9% and 1.9%, respectively.
And while the limited availability of homes for sale continues to be a problem for home buyers but a boon to homeowners, these markets are seeing growth in new construction that eases the supply shortage somewhat. Still, there isn’t enough new construction to keep up with the growth, Smoke says—and so prices continue to rise at above-average rates.
However, compared with last year, price growth in eight of the top 10 markets is expected to slow down, with only Los Angeles and Tucson, AZ, showing bigger increases over last year.
For all their commonalities, the top 10 metro markets have different buying patterns and price levels, Smoke notes. Millennials are more of a buying force in Boston and Los Angeles, while retiring boomers make their presence felt in Phoenix; Jacksonville and Orlando, FL; Raleigh, NC; Tucson; and Portland, OR. Veterans, meanwhile, come out in force in Jacksonville and Tucson.
See metrics for the top 20 markets below, and for the full list of 100 markets, check out the realtor.com 2017 housing forecast.
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