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%
Ten-X analysis of the top five markets
The Orlando housing market continues to make substantial strides in its recovery. Metro employment is up 4.1 percent year-over-year, supported in large part by its booming leisure/hospitality sector that comprises over 21 percent of local employment. Payrolls are at an all-time high, some 27 percent above their prior peak. Home prices jumped 4.4 percent this past quarter, eclipsing $200,000 for the first time since 2008. Up 11.2 percent year-over-year, home prices have outpaced US annual growth for 20 straight quarters, with room for additional growth as prices remain 17.3 percent below their prior peak. Population growth has exceeded two percent for four consecutive years, and Orlando's economic outlook is among the best in the nation.