Forbes Study Finds Best Housing Marketing in the U.S. in 2016

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( — February 5, 2016) — Now that the housing market finally seems to be on the mend, potential homeowners are looking for a house and city to call home. But even though the market has improved, there are still several major ups and downs that affect that, and it’s very difficult to find a market that will be favorable for both the home buyer and seller. After performing a series of surveys across the nation, one Forbes study says it has the answer. Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the surrounding areas make up the best 2016 housing market in the United States.

Looking for Affordability and Location

The year 2015 was a time of expansion and growth for the housing market, bringing the nation new insights on how to approach the housing market. Forbes teamed up with Zillow and Local Market Monitor – a North Carolina based data company that tracks the prices of homes and the economic factors that affect them – to screen 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Their results yielded a list of top 20 housing markets for the year. Each city examined, including the surrounding suburbs, had a population of more than 600,000.

The researchers tested each of these cities for their livability appeal, including factors such as population growth, job growth, anticipated home price, crime rate, and similar factors. It was discovered that many of the cities tested had undervalued home prices, which could make the market overheated. However, for now, things are looking positive in this specific housing sector.
The study found that the number one metropolitan area for a good housing market, Grand Rapids, is just a couple hundred miles away from Detroit, and boasts a 3.1 percent population growth rate over the next three years.

The economy in that area is also booming, inviting new jobs and promoting expansion in the future. The unemployment rate fell to just 3.1 percent, as evidenced in research from last September, and then fell again to 2.8 percent in December. This is clear evidence of a continually falling unemployment rate that perfectly reflects the growing economy and a healthy housing market.

“We’re in a period where economic growth has taken over again,” says Ingo Winzer, founder and president of Local Market Monitor. Through this growth, we’re seeing the return of a solid housing market in many cities.

Great Housing Prices

The most obvious statistics showing the incredible growth in the housing market are those that reflect how home prices have grown 33 percent in just three years, and eight percent during 2015. After a spike in housing prices, the average home in the area is listed at approximately $154,000.

At the moment, this number is 22 percent below the national median price for houses, which is why it’s such a sweet spot for the housing market. The prices are low enough that homebuyers are drawn to them, but high enough that sellers can feel like they got a great deal out of a transaction.

Florida Dominates the List

Michigan may have topped the list with a single city region, but it seems that Florida takes the cake for the best housing market. Seven out of the twenty cities ranked are located in the Sunshine State. In second place on Forbes’ rankings came Orlando. Later on the list came Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and others.

Many of these cities are on the list because of the appeal to retirees.

“The Florida situation surprised me,” Winzer stated. “Since the national economy has stabilized and is growing again, the factors that prompt people to go to Florida have recovered.” This is the case for many states and cities within, hailing a new time for the housing market.