Advisors helping clients purchase a home may want to keep these cities in mind.
Housing market conditions are leaving prospective buyers with far less purchasing power than they had even a couple years ago, but certain cities are bucking the national trend with more favorable circumstances for house hunters.
Nationwide, demand for housing is outpacing low levels of inventory, driving prices sky-high and beyond peaks set during the last housing boom. Growth in mortgage rates, which are expected to rise throughout the year, has also added burdens for homebuyers in terms of how much they can afford to buy.
However, a strengthened economy has paved the way for job and income increases, putting more money in the pockets of consumers. And in cities with lower median house values and steadying price growth, purchasing power is not in as much danger as other more costly markets.
A First American analysis of home values that factors in local wages and mortgage interest rates in large cities found a 6.4% price increase nationally in March. But, in some markets like Washington, D.C., home prices have steadied or even declined, according to First American's Real Home Price Index.
Here's a look at the 12 best cities for housing market purchasing power. The data, from First American's RHPI, measures home price changes, taking local wages and mortgage rates into account "to better reflect consumers' purchasing power and capture the true cost of housing."
The March 2018 data 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).
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No. 12 Providence, Rhode Island
Median sale price: $252,750 RHPI: 90.47 Year-over-year RHPI: 6.62%
Aerial view of Chicago, Illinois skyline with Soldier Field.
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No. 11 Chicago
Median sale price: $231,424 RHPI: 68.95 Year-over-year RHPI: 6.36%
Iconic Portland, Oregon Old Town sign with an outline of Oregon and a stag
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No. 10 Portland
Median sale price: $365,000 RHPI: 99.45 Year-over-year RHPI: 5.25%
Buildings at Virginia Beach, Virginia during a Warm Fall Night
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No. 9 Virginia Beach, Virginia
Median sale price: $227,500 RHPI: 93.81 Year-over-year RHPI: 4.94%
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No. 8 Raleigh, North Carolina
Median sale price: $259,750 RHPI: 80.03 Year-over-year RHPI: 4.88%
Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia
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No. 7 Philadelphia
Median sale price: $217,594 RHPI: 84.64 Year-over-year RHPI: 4.73%
Hartford, CT- OCTOBER 15: The Mark Twain House and Museum on October 15, 2014. It was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) from 1874 to 1891 in Hartford, Connecticut.
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No. 6 Hartford, Connecticut
Median sale price: $216,100 RHPI: 72.72 Year-over-year RHPI: 3.26%
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No. 5 Memphis
Median sale price: $155,000 RHPI: 55.98 Year-over-year RHPI: 2.67%
A pool stands where the terrorist attack took place in Oklahoma
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No. 4 Oklahoma City
Median sale price: $159,500 RHPI: 72.81 Year-over-year RHPI: 2.63%
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No. 3 Baltimore
Median sale price: $265,000 RHPI: 82.65 Year-over-year RHPI: 2.55%
Washington DC, capital city of the United States. White House building. Presidential office.
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No. 2 Washington, D.C.
Median sale price: $383,000 RHPI: 85.39 Year-over-year RHPI: 1.22%
Panorama of downtown Pittsburgh skyline at twilight
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No. 1 Pittsburgh
Median sale price: $148,000 RHPI: 65.23 Year-over-year RHPI: -1.24%