The New Year is barely upon us, but already real estate professionals and investors up and down the country will be wondering aloud what the next twelve months of our tumultuous housing markets will bring.
Luckily for us, Trulia has our backs, rounding up a list of what it reckons to be the healthiest real estate markets in the country going in to 2013. Today we take a look at the top five markets, showing how essential factors such as home prices, home sales, employment and foreclosure stats are affecting each one.
1: Houston, Texas
Pretty much the entire state of Texas is riding a wave of steady growth at the moment, with several of its cities showing up on Trulia’s list of improving markets. Chief among them all though is Houston, whose market has been given a huge boost by one factor above all else – jobs, and lots of them.
Job growth has helped to propel the demand for housing in Houston, resulting in the city’s inventory falling to a ten-year low last October, whilst condo and townhouse sales jumped by almost 41.6% compared to one year ago. Even better, according to RealtyPin.com, the fact that Houston has plenty of job opportunities and foreclosures have all but dried up means that the city is unlikely to be hampered much by the fiscal cliff.
2. San Francisco, California
The healthy state of San Francisco’s real estate market was confirmed recently by a report from the Urban Land Institute, which forecast the Californian city would be number one in the country for investment, development and house building in the New Year. Supposing we do see more investment and development as the experts predict, San Francisco is likely to see further demand for housing and yet more price increases.
Other statistics backing up San Francisco’s positive outlook include rental prices, which have jumped by more than 15% over the last year, according to the SF Examiner, and housing inventory falling by more than 40%. Finally, an explosion in the number of tech-related jobs won’t hurt things either.
3. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Maryland
The driving force behind the Bethesda area’s notable 3rd place is foreclosures – or rather, the complete lack of them. Its market currently has one of the lowest foreclosure inventories of any city in the nation, which, coupled with strong growth in its jobs market means that it’s one of the most promising areas around as far as real estate is concerned.
Bethesda currently boasts an extremely low foreclosure rate of just 2.7 homes per 1,000, while its vacancy rate has fallen to just 1.2%, as of November 2012. Nearby, Washington DC is also seeing a strong recovery, further bolstering Bethesda’s own prospects for 2013.
4. San Antonio, Texas
The fact that San Antonio’s housing recovery is outpacing that of pretty much every other metro area in Texas shouldn’t come as a surprise, not when you consider that the city actually fared much better during the real estate crash than most others. In fact, San Antonio seemed to be in a league of its own during the recession with average home prices actually increasing while cities all around it crashed and burned. Now that things are picking up across the state, it looks like San Antonio could be the one to lead the charge.
5. Austin, Texas
Austin has seem huge gains in the number of home sales over the last year and a half. In fact, last November saw the city score an impressive 18 months of gains in its overall home sales volume. Also helping Austin is that it remains one of the best seller’s markets in the country, with homes valued at $200,000 or less typically selling in three months or less – much faster than most other parts of the country.