RealtyTrac recently released its Top Single-Family Housing Markets Report for Spring 2017, which ranks the nation’s 50 largest housing markets according to current and forecasted housing fundamentals. Among the 50 largest US markets, the top five (in order) were Tampa, Fla., Dallas, Columbus, Ohio, Las Vegas and Jacksonville, Fla., each demonstrating a vigorous combination of consistently strong demand, home price appreciation, and economic and demographic growth.
While previous reports have heavily featured Florida markets, this quarter’s list is more diverse. Tampa and Dallas each advanced three spots to take the top two rankings this quarter, respectively. Columbus jumped from tenth to third this quarter, while Las Vegas rejoined the top five metros list after a brief hiatus, rising from ninth to fourth. Jacksonville rounds out the top five, climbing a few spots from last quarter.
Tampa, Jacksonville and Las Vegas have all emerged in the aftermath of a devastating housing bust. While they are still on the road to recovery, they have all made impressive strides benefiting from accelerating population growth and prosperous local economies. This has contributed to both an increase in the local jobs market and increased demand in the housing market. Columbus stands out among otherwise struggling metros in the Midwest as stronger economic and demographic trends in this market have supported healthier housing demand. Columbus has also benefitted from historically lower volatility than most of the Midwest, as has Dallas, which offers a more diversified local economy – a factor that has helped strengthen its housing market despite the uncertainty surrounding oil prices.
The Tampa housing market continues to flourish in its impressive recovery. Metro employment is up 3.1 percent year-over-year and has been consistently growing in the 2 to 4 percent range for five years. Jobs in the two biggest sectors, professional/business services and education/healthcare services, continue to reach new heights and drive nearly one third of the local economy. Median existing home prices continues to rise, topping all major metros this quarter with 13.1 percent year-over-year growth. The metro’s accelerating population growth and positive economic outlook should bolster demand and serve as solid underpinnings for Tampa’s housing market.
The Dallas housing market continues its exceptional performance despite low oil prices that are proving detrimental to other Texas metros as employment growth measures in the low 4 percent range. Home sales remain elevated as they gradually close the gap with their pre-recession peak, most recently rising 2.9 percent from a year ago. Seasonally adjusted prices are at an all-time high after their recent 10.6 year-over-year gain and have risen for 20 straight quarters following a modest downturn. Although prices are more than 56 percent beyond their pre-bust peak, single-family homes remain very inexpensive relative to local income levels. In addition, single family homes are more affordable than local apartment rentals, which should keep demand focused on home buying. Thanks to its diversification, Dallas benefits from superior population growth and a solid economic forecast, both of which should continue fueling the metro’s housing market.
The Columbus housing market is making impressive progress. Year-over-year employment growth is at 2 percent and on par with the growth seen through much of this cycle. Payrolls are now at an all-time high, some 11.2 percent beyond their previous peak. The metro’s professional and business services sector has been more erratic, but continues to rise with 2.1 percent annual growth. Home sales are up 6.6 percent from a year ago and are now at a cyclical high within 10 percent of their pre-recession peak. Home prices are 9.6% higher than a year ago as annual price growth has accelerated to its strongest pace this cycle. Columbus’ population growth and solid economic forecast should continue to bolster local housing demand, suggesting an optimistic outlook for the housing market.
The Las Vegas housing market continues to thrive in the aftermath of its severe recessionary downturn. The education and healthcare services sector is seeing solid employment growth in the 5 percent range. The small but oversized construction/mining sector is also seeing notable gains, with payrolls now up 7.3 percent from a year ago. Home prices continue to see phenomenal growth, recently rising 9.7 percent from a year ago. Prices have now risen nearly 90 percent since they bottomed out five years ago, yet they remain very affordable at roughly 30 percent below their bubble peak allowing for additional gains. Strong demographics in the metro indicate continued economic expansion, as population growth accelerates and a superior economic forecast portends a bright outlook for this market.
Jacksonville’s housing market is excelling as sales and prices continue to improve in the wake of its severe bust. Though Jacksonville’s expansion has slowed modestly after posting job losses in two of the last four months, the metro’s economy continues to impress with job growth just under 3 percent year-over-year. The sizeable education and healthcare services sector recently saw nearly 5 percent job growth, while the oversized financial services sector is reaching new heights. Existing-home sales are up 7.3 year-over-year and are marching towards their pre-recession peak. Jacksonville also benefits from excellent population growth and has been outpacing the US for over two decades. Accelerated population growth combined with a robust economy should fuel Jacksonville’s local housing market going forward.
To learn more about the spring 2017 real estate market in your area, contact the 9 Core Realty team today.