10 hottest housing markets for 2014

10 hottest housing markets for 2014

Like most Lone Star state housing markets, Fort Worth’s home prices remained fairly stable during the boom and bust years.

Two big factors helped keep the market from imploding: home building was cheap and the local economy strong. Wide open spaces and lax regulations helped keep land cheap and building costs low. While the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport kept a steady supply of jobs and buyers coming to the area.

But now, as even more employers move into the metro area, there has been a surge in buyer demand — and home prices.

Amazon (AMZN) is building a distribution warehouse in Alliance, just North of the city, that will employ 1,000 workers. Wal-Mart (WMT) and Motorola are also planning new facilities there, according to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

"A lot of companies are relocating here," said Tommy Dyer, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

CoreLogic Case-Shiller forecasts that home prices will climb 8.9% in the Fort Worth metro area for the 12 months through September.

New Orleans has been rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.

As people have returned, buyer demand has perked up — and so have home prices.

But there’s still plenty of room for this housing market to grow. The median home price in the metro area was only $163,000 during the three months ended September, more than 20% below the national median.

CoreLogic is predicting home prices will increase by 8.6% over the next 12 months, followed by a better-than-average 5.4% increase in the year after that.

Source: CoreLogic Case-Shiller
Forecasts are for the 12 months ending September, 2014. Rankings are for metro areas with populations of one million or more. In addition to its own data, CoreLogic Case-Shiller compiled its results using data from the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Moody’s Analytics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Home prices in Virginia’s state capital have been running at a steady pace over the past three years, up about 3% annually since 2010.

That’s been helped by the area’s diverse economy — which includes a stable mix of government, financial, education and manufacturing jobs — and low unemployment rate, which is well below the national figure.

As a result, home sales have taken off and prices are starting to reflect that, according to the Richmond Association of Realtors. CoreLogic forecasts that home prices in the metro area will gain another 8.5% in the 12 months through September.

Source: CoreLogic Case-Shiller
Forecasts are for the 12 months ending September, 2014. Rankings are for metro areas with populations of one million or more. In addition to its own data, CoreLogic Case-Shiller compiled its results using data from the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Moody’s Analytics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Hartford may want to thank Obamacare for its home price gains in the upcoming year. Home to some of the nation’s biggest insurers, like Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, the new health care law has helped these firms expand and bring jobs to the area, according to Thomas Deller, who directs development for the city of Hartford.

All of the white-collar jobs have kept household incomes high — at a median of more than $85,000 last year. That makes the area’s median home price of $234,000 quite affordable for most residents.

CoreLogic forecasts a 12-month gain of 8.3% through September and it expects the recovery to have legs. It sees another price increase of 6.6%, for the 12 months after that.

Once one of the nation’s leading foreclosure hotspots, things are starting to turn around in Tampa.

The area has been working through its foreclosure problem and the local economy is gaining steam with new employers, including Bristol Myers, opening offices, according to Bob Rohrlack, CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

In the 12 months ended September, home prices climbed 14.6% and they are expected to keep climbing in the new year. CoreLogic forecasts that they will rise 8% in the 12 months ending this September.

Despite the gains, buyers will still get a bargain. The median home price in the metro area is around $177,000, well below the national median of $207,000.

Source: CoreLogic Case-Shiller
Forecasts are for the 12 months ending September, 2014. Rankings are for metro areas with populations of one million or more. In addition to its own data, CoreLogic Case-Shiller compiled its results using data from the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Moody’s Analytics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Baltimore’s metro area is a study in contrasts, with both hardscrabble inner city neighborhoods and lush suburbs. Row houses in poor neighborhoods can sell for $50,000 or less but the area’s median home price is $299,000, nearly 50% higher than the national figure.

The city’s proximity to Washington D.C. has enabled Baltimore’s residents to reap the benefits of well-paid government and corporate jobs. Its western suburbs, with their easy commute to D.C., are among the area’s most expensive.

Meanwhile, local hiring at Johns Hopkins Hospital and University, as well as other area institutions, has been on the rise, according to Dean Cottrill, president of Coldwell Banker Mid-Atlantic.

All of this has helped to push home sales higher. "Buyers have been eating up the inventory," said Cotrill.

Prices climbed nearly 5% in the 12 months leading up to September and they are expected to record another 8% in gains this year, according to CoreLogic’s forecast.

After years of investing in revitalization efforts — turning old warehouses into offices, opening new parks, building a minor league baseball stadium — Birmingham is finally seeing the big payoff.

People are no longer fleeing from the inner city, new businesses are moving in and home prices are actually on the rise.

In the 12 months ended September, home prices climbed 6%, bringing the median home price in the metro area to $174,000. And CoreLogic expects above-average returns again this year, forecasting a 7.8% increase in the 12 months ending in September.

Source: CoreLogic Case-Shiller
Forecasts are for the 12 months ending September, 2014. Rankings are for metro areas with populations of one million or more. In addition to its own data, CoreLogic Case-Shiller compiled its results using data from the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Moody’s Analytics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Given enough time, they say nobody loses money on New York City real estate — unless they sold right after the housing bubble burst.

But things have turned around now. And while the core of the market, Manhattan, has recorded some gains lately, the real action is in the outer boroughs, like Brooklyn and Queens, where prices are climbing by double-digit percentages, according to Jonathan Miller of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

All told, metro area homes sold for 5% more in the 12 months ended in September. And CoreLogic expects the market to build on that, with a 7.4% return in the months leading up to September.

Source: CoreLogic Case-Shiller
Forecasts are for the 12 months ending September, 2014. Rankings are for metro areas with populations of one million or more. In addition to its own data, CoreLogic Case-Shiller compiled its results using data from the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Moody’s Analytics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Memphis has been attracting hordes of real estate investors, who are snapping up foreclosures and other cheap housing, rehabbing the homes and renting them out for handsome profits.

That has lifted home values in recent months. The metro area recorded a year-over-year increase of more than 8% through September. And CoreLogic predicts that prices will appreciate another 7.3% in the 12 months ended September 2014.

Nevertheless, Memphis is still a bargain hunter’s delight. The median home price of $122,000 is just 2.2 times the median income of $56,400, a favorable ratio. The average in the United States is 2.8.

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