GOBankingRates

Condos vs. Houses: Which Is the Best Investment in Your City?

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ajcasanova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When the time comes to buy their first home, many Americans need to carefully weigh a variety of factors before deciding on which type of property to purchase. For the most part, it’s a decision that’s wrapped up in their lifestyle and location.

Owning a house has been a traditional, ubiquitous goal under the American dream for plenty of people who envision not sharing walls with neighbors and having a yard for their kids and pets to play in. At the same time, for a growing population of people — mostly city dwellers — the benefits of condo life are hard to pass up. It’s a path to leaving the rental market that typically involves a lower initial cost of entry and allows urban folk to stay close to the amenities they love.

Save: Americans’ Savings Drop to Lowest Point in Years

However, while most of the factors that dictate whether a house or condo is the right choice for you are personal in nature, one important question is more cut and dry: Which constitutes the better investment? After all, owning a home isn’t about just having a place to live. It’s also about owning real estate that will increase in value over time, adding diversity to your investment portfolio.

That’s why GOBankingRates analyzed the value and long-term payoff of owning a condo versus a single-family house. The study examined the 50 largest cities in America and used Zillow’s November 2019 data on home values and growth rates over the last five years to get a better sense of how condos and single-family houses might perform as an investment.

Read: 8 Insider Tips to Get Rich in Real Estate

Granted, trends in home values can change dramatically, and you might be compelled to choose a condo over a house — or vice versa — for other reasons specific to your situation. But understanding how real estate investments compare to each other based on current trends in the housing market should still play a part in any home buying process, even if it’s not the deciding factor. So, look through America’s 50 biggest cities, placed in alphabetical order, and see whether a condo or a house is the best way to invest your savings.

Last updated: May 19, 2021

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Condo value: $153,236.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 17.49%
  • Single-family home value: $210,688.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 18.18%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 0.69 percentage points

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Atlanta

  • Condo value: $274,465.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 40.86%
  • Single-family home value: $299,165.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 64.29%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 23.43 percentage points

RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Austin, Texas

  • Condo value: $306,776.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 28.51%
  • Single-family home value: $398,035.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 31.23%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 2.73 percentage points

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Condo value: $128,369.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 2.20%
  • Single-family home value: $182,060.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 8.08%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 5.88 percentage points

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Boston

  • Condo value: $644,166.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 33.82%
  • Single-family home value: $623,793.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 34.07%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 0.25 percentage points

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Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Condo value: $188,190.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 41.85%
  • Single-family home value: $250,167.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 45.93%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.08 percentage points

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Chicago

  • Condo value: $314,916.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 12.40%
  • Single-family home value: $221,448.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 23.58%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 11.18 percentage points

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Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Condo value: $204,856.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 59.58%
  • Single-family home value: $316,147.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 43.85%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 15.73 percentage points

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Columbus, Ohio

  • Condo value: $137,350.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 42.86%
  • Single-family home value: $178,383.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 50.86%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 8.00 percentage points

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Dallas

  • Condo value: $179,849.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 73.41%
  • Single-family home value: $227,115.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 81.39%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 7.97 percentage points

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Denver

  • Condo value: $301,559.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 52.79%
  • Single-family home value: $481,944.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 47.65%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 5.14 percentage points

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El Paso, Texas

  • Condo value: $104,761.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 8.21%
  • Single-family home value: $134,366.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 11.58%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 3.36 percentage points

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Fort Worth, Texas

  • Condo value: $194,456.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 47.87%
  • Single-family home value: $206,679.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 53.67%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 5.80 percentage points

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Fresno, California

  • Condo value: $158,336.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 43.91%
  • Single-family home value: $256,475.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 36.11%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 7.81 percentage points

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Honolulu

  • Condo value: $460,078.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 11.83%
  • Single-family home value: $982,433.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 11.89%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 0.06 percentage points

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Houston

  • Condo value: $128,477.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 23.22%
  • Single-family home value: $192,379.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 27.13%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 3.91 percentage points

Read More: Homes in These 25 Waterfront Cities Are a Total Steal

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Indianapolis

  • Condo value: $128,440.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 33.06%
  • Single-family home value: $150,475.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 37.48%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.42 percentage points

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Jacksonville, Florida

  • Condo value: $131,524.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 44.34%
  • Single-family home value: $195,788.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 41.02%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 3.32 percentage points

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Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Condo value: $166,889.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 25.52%
  • Single-family home value: $197,563.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 31.27%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 5.75 percentage points

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Las Vegas

  • Condo value: $159,755.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 49.21%
  • Single-family home value: $297,646.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 46.77%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 2.44 percentage points

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Long Beach, California

  • Condo value: $398,151.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 36.23%
  • Single-family home value: $641,363.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 31.58%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.65 percentage points

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Los Angeles

  • Condo value: $581,061.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 31.53%
  • Single-family home value: $746,142.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 39.92%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 8.39 percentage points

Louisville, Kentucky

  • Condo value: $148,138.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 23.84%
  • Single-family home value: $176,851.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 28.13%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.28 percentage points

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Memphis, Tennessee

  • Condo value: $133,661.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 31.90%
  • Single-family home value: $93,354.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 42.25%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 10.35 percentage points

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Mesa, Arizona

  • Condo value: $164,896.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 55.77%
  • Single-family home value: $276,352.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 41.99%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 13.78 percentage points

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Miami

  • Condo value: $320,163.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: -3.24%
  • Single-family home value: $391,112.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 42.73%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 45.97 percentage points

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Milwaukee

  • Condo value: $128,222.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 24.32%
  • Single-family home value: $130,626.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 29.26%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.94 percentage points

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Minneapolis

  • Condo value: $237,904.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 25.79%
  • Single-family home value: $287,841.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 32.94%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 7.15 percentage points

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Nashville, Tennessee

  • Condo value: $257,164.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 43.81%
  • Single-family home value: $284,075.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 53.77%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 9.96 percentage points

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New Orleans

  • Condo value: $297,071.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 9.38%
  • Single-family home value: $218,745.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 12.35%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 2.98 percentage points

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New York

  • Condo value: $621,572.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 21.07%
  • Single-family home value: $662,154.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 31.43%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 10.36 percentage points

See: The 50 Best Places To Buy a Home For Under $250,000

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Oakland, California

  • Condo value: $614,375.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 27.51%
  • Single-family home value: $800,306.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 34.41%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 6.90 percentage points

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Oklahoma City

  • Condo value: $88,115.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 14.51%
  • Single-family home value: $139,391.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 19.29%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.78 percentage points

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Omaha, Nebraska

  • Condo value: $162,513.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 28.87%
  • Single-family home value: $191,438.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 33.85%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.98 percentage points

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Philadelphia

  • Condo value: $257,110.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 19.32%
  • Single-family home value: $176,474.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 45.84%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 26.52 percentage points

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Phoenix

  • Condo value: $176,258.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 56.78%
  • Single-family home value: $266,841.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 44.95%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 11.83 percentage points

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Portland, Oregon

  • Condo value: $354,327.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 28.92%
  • Single-family home value: $460,547.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 36.23%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 7.31 percentage points

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Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Condo value: $183,262.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 39.44%
  • Single-family home value: $289,115.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 30.66%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 8.78 percentage points

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Sacramento, California

  • Condo value: $262,686.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 54.42%
  • Single-family home value: $348,761.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 43.24%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 11.19 percentage points

Related: The Best and Worst Cities To Own Investment Property

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San Antonio

  • Condo value: $136,815.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 29.74%
  • Single-family home value: $185,294.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 35.00%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 5.25 percentage points

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San Diego

  • Condo value: $458,625.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 30.84%
  • Single-family home value: $709,877.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 28.79%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 2.05 percentage points

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San Francisco

  • Condo value: $1,216,358.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 23.51%
  • Single-family home value: $1,436,552.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 32.62%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 9.11 percentage points

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San Jose, California

  • Condo value: $674,569.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 30.81%
  • Single-family home value: $1,060,515.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 29.49%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 1.32 percentage points

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Seattle

  • Condo value: $499,708.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 47.80%
  • Single-family home value: $776,830.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 46.25%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 1.55 percentage points

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Tampa, Florida

  • Condo value: $200,847.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 46.46%
  • Single-family home value: $246,851.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 53.23%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 6.77 percentage points

Learn More: The Best Place To Buy a Home in Every State

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Tucson, Arizona

  • Condo value: $149,809.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 34.92%
  • Single-family home value: $215,891.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 30.84%

Best investment: Condo
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.08 percentage points

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Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Condo value: $72,733.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 12.81%
  • Single-family home value: $130,767.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 17.67%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 4.86 percentage points

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Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Condo value: $233,648.67
  • Five-year change in condo value: 9.62%
  • Single-family home value: $285,418.33
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 11.04%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 1.42 percentage points

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Washington

  • Condo value: $466,517.33
  • Five-year change in condo value: 12.23%
  • Single-family home value: $737,055.67
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 33.41%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 21.18 percentage points

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Wichita, Kansas

  • Condo value: $94,084.00
  • Five-year change in condo value: 20.28%
  • Single-family home value: $135,136.00
  • Five-year change in single-family home value: 22.03%

Best investment: Single-family home
Difference in five-year growth rates: 1.76 percentage points

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates began by looking at the 200 cities with the biggest housing markets according to Zillow. Using Zillow’s time series data on condos, GOBankingRates calculated the percentage change in the median estimated value of condos over the last five years (November 2014-19) in each city. GOBankingRates then did the same for single-family residences. This allowed GOBankingRates to compare the percentage change in the median estimated value of condos and the percentage change in the median estimated value of single-family residences in all cities over the last five years to see which type of housing has grown in value the most significantly in proportion to its cost in 2014. GOBankingRates then concluded whether condos or single-family residences proved to be the better investment over the past five years in terms of the growth seen in proportion to the initial investment. The one-year percentage change in median estimated value for each type of housing in each city, livability scores from AreaVibes and crime rates from NeighborhoodScout were provided as supplemental data. Six of the 200 cities considered were removed because data was not available for both types of housing over the specified time period. All data used to conduct this study was compiled and verified on Dec. 12, 2019, and is subject to change.