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Growth and stability are important factors when considering homeownership.

Homeownership often represents a foundation to build on as well as long-term stability. This applies not only to the lifestyle a homeowner envisions when making a purchase, but also to the value of the property. Ideally, a home you purchase will steadily grow in value and not fluctuate too much in price. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed the data to uncover which metro areas in America are the best housing markets for growth and stability.

Specifically, we compared home value data in 357 metro areas for every quarter during the 25-year period from Q1 of 1995 through Q4 of 2019. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

This is SmartAsset’s sixth look at the best housing markets for growth and stability. Read the 2019 version of our study here.

Key Findings

  • Texas dominates the top 10. Five of the top 10 metro areas in the study are in Texas: Midland at No. 1, Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown at No. 2, Odessa at No. 8, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land at No. 9 and Dallas at No. 10.
  • Significant price drops are rare in top-ranking metro areas; Michigan homes are more likely to experience a drop. For 43 of the top 50 metro areas in the study, the likelihood that there would be a 5% loss in home price within 10 years of purchase (during the 25-year period between 1995 and 2019) is less than 3%. By contrast, Flint, Michigan, has the highest rate for this metric in the study, with a 45% chance. Furthermore, of the 13 metro areas in the study with at least 40% odds of a 5% loss in home price within 10 years of purchase, eight are in the state of Michigan.

1. Midland, TX

Midland, Texas is the number one U.S. metro area for growth and stability in the housing market. The odds of a 5% loss in home price in the 10 years after it was purchased (during the 25-year period from 1995 through 2019) was 0%, and the overall home price growth in that 25-year period was about 287.82%, the fourth-highest rate for this metric across all 357 areas we studied.

2. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

In the Austin, Texas metro area, there was a 0% chance of a 5% loss in home price in the 10 years after it was purchased. This area had the study’s 12th-highest growth rate in the 25-year period from 1005 through 2019, at 254.62%.

3. Boulder, CO

The Boulder, Colorado metro area also had a 0% chance of a 5% drop in housing price in the 10 years after it was purchased, within the time period from 1995 to 2019. The overall growth in home prices in Boulder in those 25 years was 251.21%, the 15th-highest growth rate across all 357 metro areas in the study.

4. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA

Taking the No. 4 spot is the San Francisco, California metro area, the first in the top 10 to have odds greater than 0% – specifically, 19.00% – of a 5% drop in home value over the 10 years after its purchase. That said, the overall home price growth was 370.29% over the 25-year period from 1995 through 2019, the highest in our study.

5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

The odds of experiencing a home price drop of 5% or more in the San Jose, California metro area within 10 years of a home’s purchase was 19.00%. In the 25 years from 1995 through 2019, the home price there increased 345.62%, the second-highest rate for this metric in our study.

6. Fort Collins, CO

The Fort Collins, Colorado metro area had a fairly stable housing market over the 25-year period from 1995 to 2019, with just 2.00% odds that a home’s price would drop by at least 5% in the 10 years after its purchase. The overall increase in home value during that 25-year period was 215.20%, 31st-highest out of all 357 metro areas in this study.

7. Bismarck, ND

The housing market in the Bismarck, North Dakota metro area was very stable over the past 25 years, with a 0% chance of a 5% housing price drop in the first 10 years after the purchase of a home. Bismarck also came in 48th-highest out of 357 in our study for home price growth from 1995 through 2019, at 194.01%.

8. Odessa, TX

The third Texas metro in the top 10 is Odessa, where there was a 5% chance of the value of a home dropping at least 5% in the first 10 years after its purchase, within the 25-year period from 1995 through 2019. Odessa home prices also had the 22nd-highest growth in the study, with overall home values jumping by 226.02% over those 25 years.

9. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

In the Houston, Texas metro area, the chance of a drop in home value of at least 5% within 10 years of purchase was 0%. This area placed 57th out of 357 in terms of growth, with an overall home value increase of 188.41% from 1995 through 2019.

10. Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX

The final metro area – and fifth Texas entry – in our top 10 is the Dallas metro area. This metro area had a 1% chance of a home price loss of at least 5% within 10 years of purchase, within the 25-year period from 1995 through 2019. During those 25 years, the overall increase in home price was 180.91%, 66th-highest in our study.

Data and Methodology

To create our rankings of the best housing markets for growth and stability, we looked at data for 357 metro areas. Specifically, we compared all of the areas across the following two metrics:

  • Stability. This is the probability that homeowners experienced a significant price decline (5% or more) at any point in the 10 years after they purchased the home.
  • Overall home price growth. The total growth in home prices during the time period we analyzed.

All data comes from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). It covers the 25-year period from Q1 of 1995 through Q4 of 2019.

We used these two metrics to create our final rankings. Areas received a score of 100 on the stability metric if there was a 0% chance of a significant price decline. The metro area with the highest chance of a significant price decline (45%) received a score of 0. We scored all other metro areas based on where they fell between these two values.  The metro area with the highest overall home price growth received a growth index score of 100 and the metro area with the lowest growth received a 0. We scored all other metro areas based on their percentage growth between these two values. Finally, we averaged each metro area’s scores over the two metrics. The metro area with the highest average score ranked first.

Tips for Managing Your Money

  • Consider investing in expert help. If you’re in the market for a home, consider getting some help from an experienced advisor. Finding the right financial advisor who fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Ready to buy? Decide whether you want to rent or buy before you leap into your housing search. SmartAsset has a tool that will help you make that choice based on your situation.
  • A clear picture of your payments. Know what your mortgage payment will be, regardless of the long-term outlook for your investment. This will play a significant role in planning your monthly budget.

Questions about our study? Contact press@smartasset.com  

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/gpointstudio

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
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