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Affordability stands as the main obstacle for most homebuyers, with owners staying in their houses longer stymieing inventory expansion, and prices rising faster than wages. However, appreciation is slowing and the market moves closer to equilibrium.

Nationally, "real" house prices fell 3.7% annually and 0.7% month-over-month in May, according to a First American Financial Corp. analysis of home values, factoring in local wages and mortgage rates in large cities.

"The expectation of lower rates comes during the longest economic boom in history and a continued healthy labor market, prompting the question: what do low mortgage rates and a still booming economy mean for housing?

"Record income levels combined with mortgage rates near historic lows mean consumer house-buying power is more than 150% greater today than it was in January 2000,” Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American, said in a press release. "While rates are expected to remain low, the fate of the labor market will determine the direction of the other half of the house-buying power equation and, ultimately, affordability."

Providence, R.I., again realized the highest year-over-year real home price growth rate with 2.16%, but the pace significantly slowed from earlier this year when the city's values shot up 17% in January. On the opposite end of the spectrum, San Jose, Calif., saw home prices drop as much as 13.91% from last May.

From Jacksonville, Fla., to Seattle, here's a look at the 12 most favorable housing markets for homebuyer purchasing power.

The data, from the First American Real House Price Index, measures annual home price changes, taking local wages and mortgage rates into account "to better reflect consumers' purchasing power and capture the true cost of housing."

The May 2019 data is ranked by smallest year-over-year changes in RHPI for cities where the current value is less than 100 (an RHPI reading of 100 is equal to housing conditions in January 2000).
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No. 12 Jacksonville, Fla.
Year-over-year RHPI: -3.13%
RHPI: 88.65
Median sale price: $193,463
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No. 11 Dallas, Texas
Year-over-year RHPI: -3.27%
RHPI: 95.7
Median sale price: $270,020
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No. 10 Washington, D.C.
Year-over-year RHPI: -3.36%
RHPI: 85.08
Median sale price: $381,033
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No. 9 Nashville, Tenn.
Year-over-year RHPI: -3.52%
RHPI: 99.8
Median sale price: $252,700
Pittsburgh
No. 8 Pittsburgh, Pa.
Year-over-year RHPI: -3.55%
RHPI: 60.12
Median sale price: $143,065
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No. 7 Chicago, Ill.
Year-over-year RHPI: -4.14%
RHPI: 63.08
Median sale price: $226,345
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No. 6 Miami, Fla.
Year-over-year RHPI: -4.61%
RHPI: 97.74
Median sale price: $257,272
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No. 5 St. Louis, Mo.
Year-over-year RHPI: -4.63%
RHPI: 62.59
Median sale price: $163,763
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No. 4 Hartford, Conn.
Year-over-year RHPI: -5.53%
RHPI: 73.52
Median sale price: $212,463
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No. 3 San Diego, Calif.
Year-over-year RHPI: -6.34%
RHPI: 92.81
Median sale price: $562,000
Portland, Ore.
No. 2 Portland, Ore.
Year-over-year RHPI: -7.75%
RHPI: 92.14
Median sale price: $374,250
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No. 1 Seattle, Wash.
Year-over-year RHPI: -9.39%
RHPI: 86.33
Median sale price: $475,155
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