Housing MarketReal Estate

Here are the hardest and easiest places to buy a house

Some might surprise you

With housing inventory struggling to make up for last year’s shortage, and home price gains shooting up, finding a home can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

There are fewer homes available on the market now than there have been since 2012, 164,000 fewer, in fact. Nationally, housing inventory sank by 13.6% in January, compared to a year earlier. This is the biggest drop in more than four years, realtor.com said.

“Inventory is falling – even in the easiest markets to buy a home,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “For buyers, it means there are fewer options to choose from, they have to make quicker decisions when they’re out there shopping, and they’re probably also dealing with rising prices.”

Realtor.com compiled a list of housing markets that are easy – and not so easy – to buy a home in.

At the top of the list of easy places to buy a home sits Cape Coral, Florida. Realtor.com said that this is an easy place to move to in part because Florida’s busy real estate season begins in the fall, when homebuyers from the cold north migrate south.

Another factor that influences the ease of moving to some locations is a strong economy, such as that seen in beach and retirement destinations. That’s why tax-friendly locations Charleston, South Carolina, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, are also listed.

Here are the easiest places to buy a house:

  • Cape Coral, Florida
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • New York, New York
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Houston, Texas
  • Honolulu, Hawaii

Meanwhile, the hardest places to buy a home remain in tech cities (to no one’s surprise) and the Northeast.

At the top of this list is San Jose, California, home to Silicon Valley. San Jose was also recently listed by the National Association of Realtors as a notably unaffordable metro to live in.

With four listings for every 1,000 homes on the market, San Jose’s median list price is just under $1.1 million, realtor.com said.

Here are the hardest places to buy a house:

  • San Jose, California
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan

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