America’s Hottest Housing Markets And How You Can Crack Them

Right now, it’s a sellers’ market, but it’s important to remember that a dip may soon be on its way.

By Annette Barlow December 14, 2016

As the global economy careens drunkenly from one self-induced crisis to another, pointing belligerently with one hand while shoveling kebab meat into its mouth with the other, one thing remains steadfast—the US housing market.

According to a report by real estate data company ATTOM Data Solutions, the US median home sale price reached an all-time high in June 2016—one percent above its previous peak of $228,000 in 2005—just before the housing crisis ravaged the country. Single family homes and condos sold for a median price of $231,000 in June, up six percent from the previous month, and a hefty nine percent from the previous year.

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In fact, 30 percent of local metro markets reached an all-time price peak in June, the 52nd consecutive month that the US median home price increased on a year-on-year basis.

You might expect real estate giants like New York and San Francisco to dominate market growth, but in actuality, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta all came out strongest, their respective home prices peaking at $385,00, $240,156, $235,950 and $192,000.

The West Coast did manage to top the board, however, with the highest percentage gain on real estate transactions. Those wishing to sell a home in San Francisco in June 2016 would be looking to cash in big time. The average US median home sold for $41,000 more than when homebuyers purchased the property, amounting to a respectable 22 percent.

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Not only have house prices been gaining year-on-year, but they’re projected to keep rising. With the political horizon teetering on the brink, what kind of economic alchemy could possibly keep the US housing market not only afloat, but raging through the waters like a jet-ski on a sunny day?

Well, Americans, it would seem, have an unfailing faith in the real estate market. Add to that, nationwide job growth soaring in 2016, local economies’ continued buoyancy and the three-year-low mortgage rates and you have the recipe for a buxom real estate market.

Sounds like a dream scenario, right? Well, only if you already own a home, or have plenty of ready cash to buy one. Areas close to major employment centers (see San Francisco) are witnessing a high demand for affordable housing. Sure, such areas provide great returns on existing investments, but the dwindling inventory and higher prices mean that first-time buyers are rapidly being priced out of the market—the very same people being employed in these areas.

Likewise, 12 percent of areas actually saw a decline in median housing value, with Bridgeport, CT dropping by six percent and Allentown, PA by four percent.

Right now, it’s a sellers’ market, but as buyers fight tooth and nail over the scant houses up for sale, it’s important to remember that a dip may soon be on its way. Once mortgage rates rise and prices reach respective local ceilings, a fall is likely—and we’ll be there, just waiting for that elusive post-bubble deal.

Annette Barlow



Annette is freelance editor, sub-editor, journalist and proofreader with a fierce love of all things feminist, food and music. She is a regular fixture on the arts, culture and feature desks at The Guardian, and her words have appeared on NME, Great British Chefs, The Fly, The Line of Best Fit and Australian Times.

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