Slideshow 12 cities where homebuyers get the most bang for their buck

Published
  • May 07 2018, 2:17pm EDT
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Are any of your clients on the hunt for a new home?

Take note of these 12 cities, which are currently offering buyers the most purchasing power in an otherwise competitive real estate market.

Nationwide, demand for housing is outpacing supply, putting upward pressure on home prices and creating affordability hurdles for consumers. Rising mortgage rates are also causing greater financial challenges for potential homeowners.

But some markets like Memphis, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offer more attractive opportunities for homebuyers, according to the latest results of First American Financial's Real House Price Index.

Steadying home price appreciation, a low median sales price and the amount buyers can afford based on market-specific incomes and interest rates all pave the way for greater purchasing power in these cities compared to other areas in the country.

San Jose, California reported the lowest level of purchasing power of all cities, with real house prices growing almost 18% from a year ago and a median sales price over $1 million, on top of the rise in rates.

Nationwide, the RHPI grew 5.1% year-over-year in February, indicating homebuyers have less purchasing power overall. Mortgage rates also reached their highest level in four years, growing to 4.58% for the week ending April 26, according to Freddie Mac.

Still, factors like increased income help homebuyers' afford more, especially in certain areas. The average household income rose to $61,963 in February, up from $60,295 during the same period last year.

Here's a look at 12 cities with a median sales price under $200,000, ranked by lowest RHPI value.

The data, from the First American Real House Price Index, measures home price changes, taking local wages and mortgage rates into account "to better reflect consumers' purchasing power and capture the true cost of housing."

The "house buying power" reflects the price a typical buyer in that market can afford, based on local wages and interest rates. The February 2018 data is ranked by RHPI value, where a reading of 100 is equal to conditions in January 2000.

No. 12 Detroit

RHPI: 80.39 (YoY 4.9%)
Median sale price: $149,956
House buying power: $333,231

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No. 11 Tampa, Florida

RHPI: 74.9 (YoY 8.95%)
Median sale price: $190,000
House buying power: $301,361

No. 10 Atlanta

RHPI: 74.83 (YoY 6.88%)
Median sale price: $200,000
House buying power: $366,109

No. 9 Charlotte, North Carolina

RHPI: 73.7 (YoY 10.23%)
Median sale price: $198,250
House buying power: $313,738

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No. 8 Oklahoma City

RHPI: 71.55 (YoY 1.78%)
Median sale price: $160,000
House buying power: $304,799

No. 7 Hartford, Connecticut

RHPI: 70.77 (YoY 0.82%)
Median sale price: $194,900
House buying power: $455,014

No. 6 St. Louis

RHPI: 67.28 (YoY 2.32%)
Median sale price: $142,109
House buying power: $337,721

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No. 5 Cincinnati

RHPI: 63.92 (YoY 5.3%)
Median sale price: $150,000
House buying power: $341,609

No. 4 Pittsburgh

RHPI: 63.55 (YoY -3.38%)
Median sale price: $150,500
House buying power: $328,155

No. 3 Columbus, Ohio

RHPI: 60.62 (YoY 9.12%)
Median sale price: $174,900
House buying power: $344,488

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No. 2 Memphis, Tennessee

RHPI: 54.67 (YoY 0.99%)
Median sale price: $148,000
House buying power: $299,869

No. 1 Cleveland

RHPI: 48.2 (YoY 6.27%)
Median sale price: $135,000
House buying power: $317,428