Which major U.S. cities are poised for a housing pop?by Tim Manni
While it may seem like doom and gloom are the dual engines driving the U.S. real estate market these days, the truth is, there are several markets out there that are poised for improvement in the near future.
HSH.com put together a list of five housing markets which are poised for a pop. We examined home prices, the city’s cost of living index, local unemployment and more.
Here’s what we found:
Median home price: $107,300
Unemployment rate: 6.5 percent
Cost of living index: 91.5
It may be a surprise, but this once-forgotten Rust Belt city now is on just about every list of cities with homes set to appreciate. According to Zillow.com, the average home price is a modest $107,300. There has been very little fall-off in prices, in part because Pittsburgh never saw the big run-up that hit many U.S. metros (prices rose to $112,000 in July 2007).
Also, the unemployment rate and the cost of living in Pittsburgh are well below the national average. Healthcare, higher education and banking give the local economy a solid bedrock. Veros projects that home prices in Pittsburgh will increase 2.3 percent from March 2011 to March 2012, which makes this city the leader of the pack.
Median home price: $136,800
Unemployment rate: 7.9 percent
Cost of living index: 96.4
Home prices in this extremely hard-hit sand state metro are off some 40 percent from their peak in mid 2006. Nonetheless, there are significant signs of life in this southern Arizona city. Case-Shiller predicts Tucson housing prices will hit bottom in the second quarter of 2011 and will tick upward by a predicted 7.2 percent in 2012. Another sign that Tucson is poised for a big real estate uptick is that experts say the city has largely worked its way through its once sizable inventory of foreclosed properties.
Another plus is that retirees–often from the upper Midwest–continue to be drawn to the region’s weather and its affordable homes. Tucson’s cost of living and unemployment rate are both below the national average. All those factors reflect that Tucson is primed for a nice housing rebound.