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Real estate could boom in these cities in 2017
December 2016 marked the end of a highly productive year for the real estate industry. The National Association of Realtors reported 5.45 million existing-home sales were completed, the highest number in a decade.
Six weeks in, experts say that 2017 is expected to see continued real estate growth, especially surrounding several popular U.S. cities. These four in particular are predicted to be some of the hottest housing markets of the year:
1. Nashville, Tennessee
Topping Zillow’s list of the coming year’s hottest housing markets is the country music capital itself. However, there’s more to the city than syncopated beats and concerts. Zillow pointed out that this Tennessee city has come to be known as a leader in the health care space.
A Nashville Health Care Council study found that between 2010 and 2014, the health care industry added 18.14 percent more local jobs. In 2014 alone, the sector brought $38.8 billion to the local economy. Additionally, Nashville’s public health care sector employs over three times more people worldwide than any other city. A continued healthy local economy could boost the number of real estate transactions, and the average value of those units.
Realtor.com named Phoenix the top real estate market for 2017, citing its 7.24 percent sales growth and home price increases of close to 6 percent. Bankrate has also pointed to Phoenix as one of the best metro areas for homeowners.
The Arizona Republic noted that property taxes and property insurance in Phoenix are among the nation’s lowest, an excellent incentive for prospective homeowners in the Valley of the Sun.
Phoenix is well-known as a destination for retirees and snowbirds, but this sunny city is attracting the younger generation, too. Forbes reported Phoenix has an average annual employment growth rate of 3.1 percent, and several tech superstars have opened offices in the area, including Uber, Yelp and Shutterfly. The combination of low unemployment and ongoing sales growth could push home prices further upward in 2017.
3. Provo, Utah
Provo, Utah made appearances on both Zillow’s and Realtor.com’s lists of top housing markets for the coming year. Zillow named it No. 3, while Realtor.com put the city at No. 18. The Utah County city grew 2.5 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the Mountainland Association of Governments.
In 2016, Provo’s job market grew faster than any other U.S. city, CNN reported. Technology jobs have been attracted to the city, with Adobe and Ebay both having offices nearby. Plus, with Google Fiber’s introduction in 2014, Provo’s internet is enviably fast, which surely encourages more tech startups to flock to Provo.
“Our start up economy is just crazy…we call ourselves Silicon Slopes,” Rona Rahlf, president of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce in Provo, told CNN.
Interested observers will be watching closely to see if that craziness takes hold in the local real estate market too.
Like Provo, Seattle placed on both Zillow’s and Realtor.com’s lists of top housing markets for 2017. Zillow put the Washington city in its No. 2 spot, while Realtor.com placed it at No. 20.
Curbed Seattle pointed out that between 2000 and 2014, the city’s population effectively doubled. This should come as no surprise, considering Amazon’s and other tech giant’s influence on the area. GeekWire noted that 80 of the fastest-growing tech companies have planted roots in Seattle, hoping to attract the computer science students graduating from the University of Washington every year.
“Seattle is well-regarded as being a highly educated city, and we obviously have the Amazons and Microsofts of the world,” noted David Gurry, a senior vice president at Colliers International’s Seattle office, according to GeekWire. “The reality is these companies come here to poach our talent.”
Meanwhile, all that talent has to live somewhere, which means continued upward pressure on Seattle real estate.