Among the 50 largest U.S. markets, the top five (in order) were Orlando, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Dallas, according to Ten-X, an online marketplace. Each metro area had "a vigorous combination of consistently strong demand, home price appreciation, and economic and demographic growth."
While Florida metros again dominated the rankings, Ten-X said there was movement within the top five slots: Orlando jumped from fourth to first to overtake Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale dropped to third; Palm Beach County remained unchanged in second; and Tampa slipped from third place to fourth.
"While most of the cities at the top of the list share common traits like job growth, population growth and economic expansion, many of the cities showing the greatest potential were among those hardest hit during the Great Recession," says Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. "The top 20 cities in our report include many that were devastated during the foreclosure crisis – especially in states like Florida – and as home prices continue to recover, they still represent buying opportunities for homeowners and investors alike."
Healthy economic and demographic trends are fueling demand throughout much of the Sunshine State, keeping sales elevated and enabling significant price growth. Dallas, for its part, is benefiting from a more diversified economy than most other Texas metros, allowing it to withstand pressures from low oil prices. Las Vegas, still a leader in terms of housing demand, sales and job growth, now ranks ninth.
"The recovery – and future outlook – continue to be very regional. Like Florida, the Southwest, Coastal California and Pacific Northwest are all showing great promise, while the Midwest and Northeast are still struggling," Sharga says.
Top five markets at a glance
Market – home price growth year over year – home sales growth year over year
Orlando – 11.2% – 0.2%
Palm Beach County – 12.1% – -0.6%
Fort Lauderdale – 8.8% – -0.9%
Tampa – 10.7% – -0.4%
Dallas – 9.9% – -0.3%
Palm Beach County
Palm Beach is seeing healthy progress in its housing recovery, though economic growth has markedly decelerated in 2016. Year-over-year employment growth is at 1.5 percent, the lowest annual rate since 2011 and down from the three to five percent growth the metro has enjoyed for most of the recovery. Home sales are at a high level, however, some 24 percent below their bubble peak, indicating plenty of room for further growth. Seasonally adjusted prices are approaching $270,000 and are at their highest level since 2007, though they remain 11.6 percent below their prior peak. This suggests room for further growth. Single-family homes in the metro offer great affordability and are cheaper than local apartment rentals, which should preserve demand for buying and allow for additional price gains. With permit activity still hovering at a low level, overbuilding is far from a concern and Palm Beach's housing market remains solid.