Several Midwestern housing markets ranked among the strongest in the country, according to a recent Nationwide study cited by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. In its "Health of Housing Markets" report, Nationwide's findings showed that not only are these markets strong, they have no signs of declining in 2016.
The top five markets included Springfield, Ill., Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich., Milwaukee, Akron, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio. In turn, the most improved housing markets in the U.S. included Lima, Ohio, Albany, Ga., Kalamazoo-Portage, Mich., Fairbanks, Alaska and Springfield, Ohio. Oppositely, the bottom housing markets included New Orleans, Sherman-Denison, Tex., Watertown-Fort Drum, N.Y., Sioux Falls, S.D. and Hammond, La. Meanwhile, the weakest markets included Sioux Falls, S.D., Philadelphia, Grand Island, Neb., Charlotte, N.C. and Grand Junction, Colo.
Why these markets are strong
One of the main reasons that these home markets are benefiting from large numbers of buyers is that they have the lowest unemployment rates in the country. According to an interview with the Grand Rapids Business Journal, David Berson, Nationwide's VP and chief economist, this has not only stimulated the buying market, but renting as well.
"In most regional markets, we're seeing that housing fundamentals are close to the strongest they've been in almost a decade," Berson explained. "This is thanks to a strong labor market, low mortgage rates and an uptick in the pace of new household formation, which tends to rise as employment conditions improve."
The Nationwide report showed that the Midwest is becoming a booming market due to increases in the employment market, quickly growing families, home price appreciation and rising household incomes. Further, the report found that these factors combine to make the Midwest region as the home to the most sustainable housing markets in the country.