As the country continues to recover from the financial crisis, some real estate markets are clearly coming out ahead of the pack. Home prices rose almost 6% last year in the 20 biggest cities in the country, and a few cities have now matched or surpassed the highs they achieved in 2006. Here are the 10 hottest real estate markets to watch this year.
1. Charleston, SC
The Charleston real estate market is one to watch in 2016. Charleston ranks 6th in the nation in terms of job growth and it ranks well on affordability and vacancy rates. Forbes named Charleston the number two hottest market of the year.
2. Austin, TX
The Austin real estate market has been popular with millennials for years and it’s enjoying booming job growth. Texas has four of the country’s hottest housing markets, and more than 160 people are moving to Austin each year. Home prices are rising so fast in the city that salaries are having trouble keeping up.
3. Providence, RI
While not as large as nearby Boston, Rhode Island’s capital has its neighbor to thank for its rapid growth over the last few years. Boston has experienced rapid economic growth that has spilled over into Providence, where prices are expected to rise 10% in 2016 over the last year.
4. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis is preparing for a major housing boom as inventory has declined while demand has picked up. Home prices are expected to rise by 10% through 2016 due to strong job growth and rising wages.
5. Atlanta, GA
Atlanta experienced a major turnaround in its housing market in 2015 as it moved from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. Prices are expected to rise almost 10% in 2016.
6. Sacramento, CA
California’s capital has a rapidly improving economy: unemployment is falling, household income has grown 1.1%, and household growth remains above average. Prices in Sacramento are expected to climb about 10% in 2016. The city was also named as one of the top 10 hottest housing markets by Zillow.
7. Denver, CO
Denver is enjoying a very low unemployment rate of just 3.1% — well below the national average. Zillow predicts prices in the metro area will rise 5% in 2016, but the neighborhoods of nearby Aurora are the hottest in the state. Zillow ranks Denver as the number one hottest housing market in the country for 2016.
8. Seattle, WA
Seattle also makes Zillow’s list of hottest housing markets with low unemployment, rising wages, and home prices that are expected to climb 5.4% over 2015. The hottest neighborhood in the metro area is Northwest Bellevue where the median home value is expected to rise more than 9% to $1.15 million over last year.
9. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been one of the hottest housing markets for more than two years and its market is holding strong. The area is currently enjoying low unemployment of 4% with strong income growth and ever-rising home values. Dallas is one of just 4 U.S. cities in which home prices have hit their previous highs during the height of the housing bubble.
10. Richmond, VA
Richmond has the strongest income growth among all major U.S. cities with low unemployment. Home prices are expected to rise about 2% this year, but the neighborhoods of Carytown and Church Hill are predicted to have the strongest growth.