In These Cities, House Prices Are Still Cheap. But the Secret Is Getting Out

Home values continue on a skyward trajectory, meaning home ownership is just out of reach for many first-time buyers. Needless to say, the law of supply and demand tend to impact the housing market in a very big way. So much, that many buyers have resolved to just keep renting.

Nevertheless, while many of the cities on the list below have seen some of the largest year-over-year growth in home values, they are surprisingly still within reach for buyers. Before the secret gets out, you may want to take advantage of the remaining inventory, as these home prices are still considered cheap compared prices in many parts of the country. (The median list price for a home in the U.S. was $259,900 in December 2017, according to Zillow.)  

1. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio | Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Home prices in Cleveland are considerably low in comparison to the national average. This pricing is surprising when you consider that the market has seen an 11.2% growth in home values over the last year. Zillow forecasts another 3.9% jump in home values over the course of 2018. The median list price per square foot is just $56.

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2. Buffalo, New York

Downtown Buffalo from Ft. Erie near the Peace Bridge

Buffalo, New York | Miklmar/iStock/Getty Images

Home values in Buffalo have seen massive growth in the past year at 22.4%. And when it comes to continued growth, Zillow predicts the pace will slow to around 6% over the 2018 year. If the Buffalo area is of interest, now is certainly the time to buy.

Next: Another Midwestern city ripe for the buying

3. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fall in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana | Visit Fort Wayne via Facebook

Home values in Fort Wayne have seen above-average growth over the last year at a rate of 8.9%. According to the experts over at Zillow, a continued growth of 3.3% is anticipated for the 2018 year. As it currently stands, the median list price per square foot in Fort Wayne is $88.

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4. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati downtown early in the night

Cincinnati, Ohio | AndreyKrav/iStock/Getty Images

Having grown at a rate of 8% over the last year, home values in Cincinnati are expected to grow by another 3.4% in the coming year. The current median list price per square foot is $109, which is slightly less than the metro area of Cincinnati.

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5. Kansas City, Missouri

The Indian Scout is known as a Kansas City landmark

Kansas City, Missouri | tomofbluesprings/iStock/Getty Images

The Kansas City market seems to be cooling off, however, over the last year home values increased by 8.9%. Values are forecasted to grow at a slower pace of 3.6% over the course of the year. Currently, the median list price per square foot is $119.

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6. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola Beach Florida provides beach living you'll never want to leave.

An apartment building in Pensacola |

The sugary, white sands of Pensacola are beckoning you, and you may want to jump on the opportunity. The city saw a home value growth rate of 10.2% last year, and according to Zillow, the market will continue to see growth at an anticipated rate of 4.7% in 2018. Currently, the median list price per square foot is $105.

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7. Lakeland, Florida

House for sale

Homes are cheap in Lakeland, Florida. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Lakeland homes are ripe for the picking, growing in value by 8% over the last year. In terms of continued growth, Zillow predicts values will climb an additional 4.4% over 2018. This means there is no better time to buy than now. The median list price per square foot is $115.

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8. Omaha, Nebraska

Downtown Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska | f1monaco31/iStock/Getty Images

The home of Warren Buffet, Omaha seems to breed wealthy investors. The value of homes in Omaha has increased by 7.8% over the last year, putting the median list price per square foot at $133. Looking forward, Zillow anticipates a continued growth in home values, but at a more reasonable pace of 3% over the course of the next year.

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9. Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee | City of Knoxville

Resting in the foothills of the Appalachians, home values in Knoxville grew 7.6% over the last year. As for continued growth, Zillow has forecasted a more moderate pace of 3.4% within the 2018 year. The median list price per square foot is $104.

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10. Lincoln, Nebraska

'Welcome to Nebraska' sign board on a empty road

Lincoln, Nebraska | iStock/Getty Images

As the second most populated city in Nebraska, the market growth is no surprise. The city has experienced a home value of growth of 7.9% over the last year, with an anticipated continued growth of 3.4% throughout 2018. The median list price per square foot of homes in Lincoln is $154.

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11. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, USA downtown cityscape from Eola Lake.

Orlando, Florida | iStock/Getty Images

  • Median list price: $220,000 

Year over year, the median home values for Orlando increased by 10% overall. However, according to Orlando’s Housing Market Report, the most noteworthy statistic was the 13% decline in the inventory of available homes on the market. The limited number of homes in the inventory will continue to diminish, so be sure to pull the trigger sooner than later if Orlando is the place for you.

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12. Tacoma, Washington

Yards Park Washington d.C.

Tacoma, Washington | The Yards Park via Facebook

Located south of Seattle and nestled along the banks of Commencement Bay, Tacoma is experiencing significant home value increases. From 2016 to the 2017 year, values increased by almost 11%. Zillow anticipates additional growth at a rate of 5.2% over the next year. But as it stands, the median list price per square foot is $203.

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13. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix Arizona with its downtown lit

Phoenix, Arizona | Dreamframer/iStock/Getty Images

Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Phoenix saw a 10% jump in home values. Furthermore, Zillow anticipates the city will see a nearly 4% increase in home values in 2018. As it stands, the median list price per square foot for a home in Phoenix is $157.

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14. Boise, Idaho

Capital City Public Market, Downtown, Boise

Capital City Public Market in downtown Boise | Source: Visit Idaho

Home values in Boise have increased by 13.2% in the last year. That’s over double the national average. This increase in home value puts the listing price per square foot at $158. According to Zillow, the forecast is for continuing growth, but at a much slower rate of 1.5% in 2018.

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15. Portland, Maine

Maine scenery

Portland, Maine | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

With a median list price of $349,000, Portland is the most expensive city on our list, but it might be worth it to live in a town that earned one of the top quality of life scores in the U.S., according to WalletHub. Over the course of the last year, the values of homes in Portland, Maine, have risen by 11.4%. Moving forward, Zillow has forecasted the growth to continue at a rate of 3.8%. As it currently stands, the median list price per square foot in the city is $289.

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