Already, 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year for housing — and potentially great for homebuyers. The sale of existing homes has been on the decline lately, and a greater housing supply can bring prices down. Equally important, mortgage rates have fallen from their recent peak in November 2018, according to Freddie Mac.
In order to help find the affordable real estate markets for potential homebuyers, GOBankingRates conducted a study analyzing the 500 largest cities in the U.S. in terms of the decline in home prices year-over-year and the increase in household income year-over-year. While the study was conducted based on December 2018 Zillow data, we’ve updated the list below with the latest available housing data from January 2019.
Check out which cities saw home prices decline, incomes rise and offer beauty and charm beyond just affordability.
See the Full Study: More Americans Can Afford to Buy a Home in These 20 Cities
1. Charleston, S.C.
- Current median price: $377,945
- Current median income: $61,367
- Year-over-year change in median price: -1.3%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 6.5%
This South Carolina city has southern charm and historical heritage that make it both a great vacation city as well as one to live in year-round. Located on the Ashley River as it leads to the Atlantic Ocean, Charleston offers scenic views at The Battery, on boat tours and at the nearby Sullivan’s Islands. Not to mention, the city boasts great beaches when the weather is warm.
2. McKinney, Texas
- Current median price: $381,000
- Current median income: $87,608
- Year-over-year change in median price: -2.3%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 5.2%
Located north of Dallas, McKinney is home to the local beer brands Franconia Brewing Company, Tupps Brewery and Mitas Hill Vineyard, as well as the beautiful 22-acre Towne Lake and surrounding recreation center, ideal for families with young kids.
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3. Albany, N.Y.
- Current median price: $167,742
- Current median income: $43,790
- Year-over-year change in median price: -2.5%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 3.4%
Similar to Charleston, New York’s state capital dates back to colonial times and provides a rich cultural experience. Albany is home to the New York State Museum, Albany Institute of History and Art and, of course, its own locally-owned distillery, the Albany Distilling Company.
4. Omaha, Neb.
- Current median price: $220,000
- Current median income: $53,789
- Year-over-year change in median price: -4.3%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 5.8%
The hometown of Warren Buffett, Omaha has grown significantly over the years, and boasts a population now of 411,000 people. Omaha has plenty of fun stuff and places to visit, including the Henry Doorly Zoo, which hosts people overnight with its Sleeping Bag Safaris and adults-only campout. The former includes breakfast while the latter includes dinner and drinks.
5. Annapolis, Md.
- Current median price: $475,000
- Current median income: $81,143
- Year-over-year change in median price: -5%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 9.4%
Maryland’s state capital is home to the United States Naval Academy and offers beautiful sites thanks to its colonial heritage. Exceptionally wealthy people of America’s colonial era, such as William Paca who signed the Declaration of Independence, had stunning estates that have now been converted to historical sites like the William Paca House. Another subtly cool feature of the city is its waterfront, complete with the city’s only hotel on the water, the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel.
6. Provo, Utah
- Current median price: $309,500
- Current median income: $44,312
- Year-over-year change in median price: -6.2%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 4%
Provo is the city where the Transcontinental Railroad was officially completed in 1869. It’s also one of Utah’s many cities that offers stunning views of the state’s natural beauty. You’ll find Utah Lake State Park, which is based on Utah Lake, the state’s largest freshwater lake offering a variety of activities — especially fishing.
7. Nashville, Tenn.
- Current median price: $318,000
- Current median income: $52,858
- Year-over-year change in median price: -6.5%
- Year-over-year change in median income: 5.9%
Nashville has plenty of charm, easily fitting the role of a great city to own a home and one to take a fun vacation to. Nashville’s downtown is home to the city’s business district, which has been quite prosperous lately. Downtown also hosts tons of attractions, especially the arts, with Ryman Auditorium, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Country Music Hall of Fame.
If you’re thinking about buying a home and are willing to relocate, check out these cities in terms of criteria such as the cost of living, transportation systems, school districts and business and employment opportunities. Cities like Nashville have been booming for economic activity in recent years, which is a great sign. And the state of Utah as a whole has been drawing families there to live.
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