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12 markets where homebuyers get the most bang for their buck

While affordability remained a top hurdle for clients in the market for a home in recent years, tales of accelerated price appreciation wane. With property values steadying and even declining in major cities, the housing market is headed for what is considered "normalcy" for the first time in two decades, according to online real estate database company Zillow.

At a national level, real house prices ticked down on an annual and monthly basis in April 0.72% and 0.9%, respectively, according to a First American Financial’s analysis of home values, which factors in local wages and mortgage rates in large cities. A combination of more affordable house values, a better economy and lower mortgage rates together are assisting in a more favorable climate for house shoppers.

While certain markets, like Providence, Rhode Island, realized a real home price growth rate of 5.92% from last year, the pace slowed significantly from the start of the year when the city saw values shoot up 17% in January. Conversely, other housing markets saw home prices drop as much as 8.62% from last April.

From Seattle to Pittsburgh, here's a look at the 12 best housing markets for homebuyer purchasing power.

The following data from First American Real House Price Index measures annual home price changes, taking local wages and mortgage rates into account "to better reflect consumers' purchasing power and capture the true cost of housing." Data, as of April, is ranked by smallest year-over-year changes in RHPI for cities where the current value is less than 100 (an RHPI reading of 100 is equal to housing conditions in January 2000).

Year-over-year RHPI: -6.29%
RHPI: 88.24
Median sale price: $460,687
Portland, Ore.
Portland, Oregon
Year-over-year RHPI: -4.52%
RHPI: 95.39
Median sale price: $364,825
San Diego
Year-over-year RHPI: -2.25%
RHPI: 95.20
Median sale price: $553,563
St. Louis
Year-over-year RHPI: -1.20%
RHPI: 63.02
Median sale price: $161,563
Oklahoma City
Year-over-year RHPI: -1.19%
RHPI: 69.05
Median sale price: $148,313
Washington, D.C.
Year-over-year RHPI: -0.83%
RHPI: 86.04
Median sale price: $372,864
Year-over-year RHPI: -0.80%
RHPI: 64.10
Median sale price: $222,303
Memphis, Tennessee
Year-over-year RHPI: -0.69%
RHPI: 54.51
Median sale price: $129,875
Year-over-year RHPI: -0.57%
RHPI: 97.05
Median sale price: $263,302
Jacksonville, Florida
Year-over-year RHPI: -0.10%
RHPI: 90.17
Median sale price: $185,100
Hartford, Connecticut
Year-over-year RHPI: -0.01%
RHPI: 77.48
Median sale price: $204,000
Year-over-year RHPI: 0.05%
RHPI: 60.96
Median sale price: $139,800