With the housing market stabilizing and last year’s dramatic price increases behind us (on a national basis, at least), it’s not as easy to quickly flip homes for a profit. Instead, now might be a good time to think about buying housing to hold for the long-term.
Whether you’re an investor looking to pick up a few rental properties or a young professional interested in purchasing a first home, there are plenty of places where housing should be a pretty safe bet. The key is to buy in cities with strong job growth that people are moving to, so that the stock of potential tenants for would-be landlords is abundant. We teamed up with Local Market Monitor, a North Carolina-based data company that tracks home prices and economic factors in more than 300 housing markets, to find 2015’s Best Buy Cities—the top 20 housing markets to invest in this year.
Local Market Monitor screened the 105 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (a geographical designation used by the U.S. Census Bureau that generally includes a core city and its surrounding suburbs), all with populations of at least 550,000. Each of our Best Buy Cities has strong population and jobs growth, and relatively low home prices. In most—but not all—of the cities, homes are still undervalued, by Local Market Monitor’s reckoning. (Last year, the average home values in every single city on our Best Buy list were considered under market.) This year four cities have reached the point where prices are a slight bit overheated–Salt Lake City, West Palm Beach, Denver, and Austin–though given their fundamentals, they’re still a pretty safe bet.