America’s “Hottest” Housing Markets

Some U.S. metros are standing out as the top places for single-family housing demand. Some of these places are even hot.

Online real estate marketplace Ten-X recently picked its top housing markets. Their criteria: “the most consistent combination of rising home prices, home appreciation, favorable affordability, and excellent economic and demographic conditions for future demand.”

Among the top 50 U.S. markets, the top picks were Seattle, Portland, Nashville, Palm Beach County, and Fort Lauderdale.

Each of these markets has its own unique appeal:

Seattle offers the irresistible combination of an expanding economy, declining unemployment and decent wages. Payrolls are up 3% from early 2015, with the thriving tech sector showing a 5% gain.

While houses are expensive – with median sales prices of around $425,000 – the area’s relatively high wages and low unemployment keep things manageable.

Portland is also seeing a boom in job creation, with employment a full 7.2% above its prior peak, and job growth an amazing 21.5% above its prior peak.

This has led to a 12.4% increase in median home sales prices from a year ago, reaching $331,000 in the fourth quarter.

Nashville is also seeing strong job growth, in diverse sectors including education and healthcare services, among others. Construction is thriving due to a boom in downtown construction projects, with employment in the sector growing by 6.2% year-over-year.

Not surprisingly, home prices have risen as fast as Nashville office parks, with median single-family prices at $210,200, up 11.6% over the past year and 23.6% above their prior peak.

Palm Beach County’s phenomenal growth has slowed a bit from its frenzied 2014-2015 pace, but the market is still hot.

Employment is up 2.5% from a year ago. The professional/businesses services sector is particularly strong, with payrolls rising 6.7%. Meanwhile, services sector and leisure/hospitality are down a bit.

Still, home prices were up 14.1% year-over-year in the market, with seasonally adjusted median home sale prices of nearly $247,000

Fort Lauderdale has seen local employment rise by 3.1% from a year ago, with employment in the professional/business services sector up an impressive 7.7% in the past year.

Seasonally adjusted median sales were up 8% YoY, with median prices hitting $226,000.

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