Nearly a decade after the housing crisis that sent the U.S. economy into freefall, housing is most certainly back—just look at our DFW market. Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, the New York Times recently reported that sales of new single-family homes nationwide were higher this past July than in nearly 10 years.
Nationwide, a company that tracks the health of U.S. real estate, reported at the end of quarter two that “the overall U.S. housing market is sustainable,” adding that “few regional housing markets are vulnerable to a housing downturn.”
In a new study, financial services site WalletHub compared 300 U.S. cities across 16 key metrics to help prospective home buyers find the most attractive real-estate markets. Their data set ranges from “median home-price appreciation” to “housing affordability” to “job growth.”
North Texas cities scored big: Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, Allen, and Plano made their top-ten list of best real estate markets nationwide in 2016. Denton, Carrollton, Fort Worth, Irving, Grand Prairie, and Dallas scored in the top 50.
So what made DFW cities score so high?
“North Texas cities have healthy and sustainable real estate markets,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “Very few homes have negative equity, home appreciation in the past seven years has continued to increase, and foreclosure rates are extremely low. In addition to having a healthy real estate market, these cities are affordable with low maintenance costs and cost of living. Not to mention, the economic environment in North Texas is thriving, boasting some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (under 3 percent across the board).”
To get these nationwide ranks, WalletHub employed analysts who looked at two areas: the real estate market (like the number of bank-owned homes, median home-price appreciation, and average number of days until a home is sold), and the affordability and economic environment (housing affordability, maintenance affordability, unemployment, job growth rate, and population growth).
“The real estate market in the DFW area was one of the quickest to rebound after the recession, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon,” Gonzalez said. “It has become one of the most attractive area for home buyers in the country.”
In evaluating the healthiest housing markets, there are five top indicators to watch for, said Mariya Letdin, assistant professor of real estate at Florida State University, College of Business.
“I have four indicators with sub-categories: low unemployment; low vacancy in apartments; low supply in housing (both number of houses and time on the market); proximity to schools, amenities, service, and retail,” Letdin said. “The question of whether or not to buy depends on the local housing market in each neighborhood. Even within the same city, different neighborhoods will will usually go through different cycles and trends.”