12 housing markets where homebuyers have an upper hand

Published
  • August 06 2018, 3:14pm EDT
Today's housing market climate is a stormy one for homebuyers; growing home prices and mortgage rates are creating affordability obstacles for potential purchasers, and limited inventory is pushing property values upward.

But, some local housing markets, supported by lower median home prices and more favorable mortgage rates, offer purchasing power advantages to consumers.

While some cities, like San Jose, Calif., experienced "real" house prices shooting up over 25% year-over-year in May, other regions saw property values remain fairly steady, according to a First American Financial Corp. analysis of home values that factor in local wages and mortgage rates in large cities.

From Washington to Baltimore, here's a look at 12 best housing markets for homebuyer purchasing power. The data, from the First American Real House Price Index, measures 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 2018 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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12 Milwaukee, Wis.

Median sale price: $175,000
RHPI: 96.54
Year-over-year RHPI: 12%

11 Philadelphia, Pa.

Median sale price: $202,897
RHPI: 87.72
Year-over-year RHPI: 11.5%

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10 Chicago, Ill.

Median sale price: $238,561
RHPI: 70.49
Year-over-year RHPI: 10.8%

9 Raleigh, N.C.

Median sale price: $248,500
RHPI: 82.25
Year-over-year RHPI: 10.5%

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8 St. Louis, Mo.

Median sale price: $166,250
RHPI: 71.7
Year-over-year RHPI: 10.1%

7 Virginia Beach, Va.

Median sale price: $220,500
RHPI: 95.52
Year-over-year RHPI: 9.9%

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6 Hartford, Conn.

Median sale price: $220,000
RHPI: 75.22
Year-over-year RHPI: 9.5%

5 Memphis, Tenn.

Median sale price: $157,250
RHPI: 57.23
Year-over-year RHPI: 7.9%

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4 Oklahoma City, Okla.

Median sale price: $158,000
RHPI: 73.31
Year-over-year RHPI: 6.8%

3 Baltimore, Md.

Median sale price: $258,000
RHPI: 83.07
Year-over-year RHPI: 6.1%

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2 Washington, D.C.

Median sale price: $374,921
RHPI: 85.16
Year-over-year RHPI: 3.7%

1 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Median sale price: $125,000
RHPI: 65.42
Year-over-year RHPI: 3.4%