4 Housing Markets First-Time Home Buyers Should Seriously Consider

published May 2, 2018
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The housing market ebbs and flows: It’s just a fact of life. Sometimes it’s a buyer’s market, and sometimes it’s a seller’s. But if you’re looking to buy your first home, the unpredictability of the market can feel closer to an existential threat than a fact of existence. The cities with low housing prices you can actually afford might not be places where you want to settle down, with high unemployment rates and stagnant home values. But surprisingly, there are some hidden gem markets where you can buy a home cheaply and still expect your home value to increase over time. Trulia looked at housing markets across the nation for cities where home prices aren’t rising. In this new report, they detailed three markets where not only did the median housing prices either stay the same or decrease, but home value rates increased, creating a great return for those invested in real estate in the area. For anyone looking to move on that new home, try checking out these cities for the most bang for your buck.

San Antonio, Texas

Looking to settle down in the Lone Star State? The Mission City offers a superb bang for your buck. According to the report, the median home price in San Antonio, is $269,499—a 5.4% decrease since last year. This is largely due to two factors: Newly-constructed starter homes have come onto the market at a better price and the amount of available jobs has grown by 4.2% year over year, despite wages falling 2.6% from last year. This stellar economic outlook has also increased value for current homeowners: Home values have raised by 9.4% in the city, putting San Antonio a solid 8% above the national average.

Austin, Texas

San Antonio’s eclectic northern neighbor is a good option for those looking for a small city-feel with all the perks of big city living. And guess what? It’s still staying relatively cheap, despite a mass migration of creative millennials and tech start-ups. The median listing price is only $336,995, down 3.4% year over year. You can thank a boom of new development: Just last year, Austin issued 79.5% more building permits than it ever had before, making it the second biggest housing markets in the nation. And with 6% job growth and 3% unemployment, you can surely find a job to support not only your mortgage, but your taco habit (as if you need another reason to move there!)

Honolulu, Hawaii

While Honolulu may be considered a locale for those fortunate enough to invest in a second home, the city is proving to be a solid investment. The median price comes in at $630,000—a steep one compared to the national median of $268,500, of course. However, that price is still a drop from last year’s median figures, 1.4% to be exact. Home value appreciated 7.5% in the past year, though. Homes listed on the market were also ranked as $40,000 less than the value of the median home, according to the estimated value. You can thank wages rising by 5.6% for that.

Sacramento, California

Yes, you might be priced out of San Francisco, one of the nation’s most booming, expensive markets. But if you’re looking for California cool without having to deal with tiny apartments and tech bros, check out Sacramento. While the city of “Lady Bird” (and California’s capital) isn’t cheap, it’s a great investment. According to the report, the median home price is staying at $429,000, the same price as last year. The strong economy in Sacramento helped keep the median cost of homes from rising since last year—wages rose 5.1 percent! Homes did appreciate in value overall though with a 12.1% growth in the past year. According to Trulia, this suggests more cheap housing having hit the market recently. We think that’s hella tight.