Top 10 Real Estate Market Surprises



As the housing market continues defining the new normal in 2014, there are surprises when you look beyond the coastal cities of California and the ongoing foreclosure problems in Florida.

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If you want to find the fastest growing real estate markets in 2014, you need to look for local economies with growing employment. The second factor to look for is high construction permits. Contractors are only building in areas where they think they can sell new houses.

These cities are not listed in any particular order. Each has its own reasons for taking a closer look.

1. Bethesda, MD. Construction permits are 92% compared to the average since 1990. Bethesda has a higher than average education level than most metropolitan areas across the country. That leads to higher employment. The two important factors when looking for growth in the local real estate market.

2. Charlotte, N.C. This city is near the top of many real estate market lists. Headquarters to Bank of America and Wells Fargo, this metropolitan area is a major financial region for the country. It also has a growing medical sector along with a highly respected education hub. When you combine all of those strong economic factors with a construction permit rate of 86% compared to the average since 1990, you have a recipe for a rapidly growing real estate market.

3. Denver, CO. This city has already seen house prices exceed their pre-recession highs. Construction permits are 94% of the average since 1990. This city is considered a leader in the resurgence of the residential real estate market.

4. Fort Worth, TX. Another city you see appearing on multiple watch lists. While this metro area is seeing significant increases in prices, the problem here is low inventory. Homes are receiving multiple offers are soon as they are listed. In fact, many homes entering the market are never being listed because realtors already have buyers ready to go in the wings. New construction permits are 83% compared to the average since 1990. There is definitely opportunity here but you’ll have to pay full retail to get in the game.

5. Nashville, TN. This is another city with a bright future. The metropolitan economy features music, health care, publishing, banking, and transportation industries, and is home to a large number of colleges and universities. New construction permits exceed the average since 1990, currently at 103% of the average.

6. Oklahoma City, OK. With Oil, natural gas, petroleum products making up a huge part of the national economy and the majority of the Oklahoma City economy, this city is thriving. It’s thriving so much that new construction permits exceed the average since 1990 by 42%. This is a city worth taking a closer look at.

7. Raleigh, NC. Growth of the local economy centers around the science and technology industries. Both high growth industries that will continue to flourish for decades to come. That’s reflected in a new construction permit rate that is 99% of the average since 1990.

8. Salt Lake City, UT. Sitting in the crossroads of two major interstates and having a highly skilled work force makes this an attractive investment city. Although ranked at number 16 in the country for real estate investing, it has moved up from number 30 since last year. New construction permits are 80% of the average since 1990. While not as strong as other cities, it’s worth looking at as a rising contender.

9. Tulsa, OK. Home sales in 2013 closely matched the rate of sales in the pre-recession year of 2007. The economy is diversified into the energy, finance, aviation, telecommunications, and technology sectors. New construction permits are even with the average since 1990.

10. Seattle, WA. Anchored by airplane builder Boeing along with Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. Seattle has a robust employment center. New construction permits are 99% of the average since 1990.

These aren’t the hottest markets in the country. Those remain Manhattan, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and the other traditional market leaders. However, these are likely among the most affordable hot markets in the country this year.

PhotoAuthor bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.