So You Think Your City Has High Housing Prices…

A new report from Bankrate finds that Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Minneapolis/St. Paul are the best metropolitan areas for homeowners.

Bankrate ranked cities on eight factors, including home affordability; price appreciation; property taxes; homeowners’ insurance, energy and maintenance costs; foreclosures and how rapidly rents rose over the past six years for which data are available.

Strong home-price appreciation over the past five years accounts for Phoenix, Atlanta and Las Vegas making it to the top of the list.

Minnesota’s Twin Cities adds a very low foreclosure rate to the strong house price appreciation it has experienced.

Now for the bad news…

Hartford ranks last because of high carrying costs, including above-average property tax, energy, homeowners’ insurance and maintenance fees.

The New York City metro area is second-worst due to high property taxes, minimal home-price appreciation and expensive maintenance costs.

Only Los Angeles (fourth-worst) prevented a northeastern sweep of the bottom five (Providence is third-worst and Buffalo is fifth from the rear).

If you’re planning a move, take a hard look at those eight factors for any city you’re considering. Sometimes, it’s an accumulation of factors that turns an attractive city into homeowner’s nightmare.

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