10 of the Best Markets in America to Buy a Home in 2016

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Buying a house is one of the largest purchases you can make. You save meticulously for a down payment and provide everything but a blood sample to the bank in exchange for a mortgage. The average homebuyer stays put for around 10 years. During that time, you hope your home’s value increases, or at least keeps pace with inflation.

The housing crisis proved home values don’t always move higher. However, home prices have been making an impressive recovery in recent years. National home prices have increased for 46 consecutive months. New research from Zillow finds the cumulative value of all homes in the United States reached $28.5 trillion in 2015, up 4.1% from 2014 and only $782 billion below the bubble peak. Since hitting its lowest point during the housing bust in December 2011, the total value of all American homes has regained $5.3 trillion.

One fact remains the same: location matters. Housing markets vary wildly across the country. Yet homebuyers typically prefer to buy in a healthy market that offers appreciating values and attractive career opportunities. To determine which cities are likely to be the best places to buy a home in 2016, Zillow analyzed home value appreciation, low unemployment rates, and strong income growth. The latter two variables were determined using Moody’s Analytics estimates.

“Trendy tech centers like San Francisco, Seattle and Denver hogged the spotlight in 2015. But this year, the markets that shine brightest will be those that manage to strike a good balance between strong income growth, low unemployment and solid home value appreciation,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell, in a press release. “As the job market continues to hum and opportunity becomes more widespread, the best housing markets are no longer limited to the coasts or one-industry tech towns. This year’s hottest markets have something for everyone, whether they’re looking for somewhere to raise a family or start their career.”

Let’s take a look at the 10 best cities to buy a home in 2016, based on Zillow’s predictions.

10. Denver, Colo.

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 5.0%
  • Income growth: 1.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%

9. Seattle, Wash.

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 5.4%
  • Income growth: 1.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.5%

8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 5.6%
  • Income growth: 1.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.0%

7. Richmond, Va.

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 2.2%
  • Income growth: 1.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.4%

6. Boise, Idaho

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 4.7%
  • Income growth: 1.0%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%

5. Ogden, Utah

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 4.9%
  • Income growth: 1.0%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 4.4%
  • Income growth: 1.0%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%

3. Omaha, Neb.

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 3.2%
  • Income growth: 1.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.9%

2. Sacramento, Calif.

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 5.1%
  • Income growth: 1.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.5%

1. Portland, Ore.

  • Forecasted home value appreciation: 5.0%
  • Income growth: 1.0%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.0%

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