Benton Harbor, Battle Creek, Midland, and Saginaw are considered to be among the top 10 most sustainable housing markets in the United States, according to a new report by Nationwide, an insurance and financial services company.
“Looking at the fundamentals, everything is set up for these markets to be very sustainable moving forward,” says Ben Ayers, senior economist at Nationwide and one of the authors of the report. “All of the markets have very solid job growth, the labor markets look good, and household growth has picked up. Combine that with the fact that these markets are very affordable.”
Ayers says other strong housing markets include Springfield, Ill. and Milwaukee, along with four cities in Ohio, including Akron, Dayton, Springfield, and Toledo.
“We’re not necessarily looking for the markets that are going to have the strongest house price growth or the strongest amount of sales,” Ayers says. “We’re looking for trends that should be sustainable and lead to solid growth in the local housing markets over time.”
He says the strong housing markets are in the Midwest because of steady job gains and house price appreciation that is in line with incomes.
Housing markets that show the most improvement in the past year include Kalamazoo, Lansing, East Lansing, and Benton Harbor.
The least sustainable housing markets in the country include New Orleans; Sherman, Texas; Watertown, N.Y.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Hammond, La.; Odessa, Texas; Austin, Texas; Casper, Wyo.; Dallas; and Houma, La. Falling oil and gas prices contributed to the decline in markets located within southern states.
To view the full report, click here.