According to a study recently conducted by personal-finance website SmartAsset, Boston is among the best cities in the country to own a home. To make this determination, researchers looked at four factors. When all of the dust settled, Boston tied for the 9th-place position with Chandler, Arizona.
Exploring the Data
To determine the best cities to own a home in the United Sates, SmartAsset considered the following metrics:
- One-Year Median Home Value Change: The percent change in the median home value from 2014 to 2015, which measures the short-term change in home values. The data for this metric was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 and 2015 5-American Community Surveys.
- Six-Year Median Home Value Change: The percent change in the median home value from 2010 to 2015, which measures the long-term change in home values. The data for this metric was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 and 2015 5-Year American Community Surveys.
- Average Effective Property Tax: The data for this metric was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5-Year American Community Survey.
- Property Crime Rate Per 100,000 Residents: The data for this metric comes from the FBI’s 2015 Uniform Crime Reporting Program, local police departments and city websites.
By examining all of these factors, researchers determined the top ten cities where homeownership is likely to be a worthwhile investment where the value of the home is expected to increase significantly.
Generally speaking, the study found that the Midwest was one of the worst areas for homeownership. In fact, four out of the five cities that received the worst rankings were in the Midwest. In Milwaukee, for example, median home values fell by 15 percent from 2010 to 2015. In Cleveland, the drop was about 20 percent during this same time period. On the other end of the spectrum, two of the top three cities were located in Colorado while many of the cities in the top ten were satellite cities or suburbs of larger cities.
The Top Ten
Overall, the researchers found that Boston had the 30th-fastest rate of median value home increase within the study. With a population of 650,000, the city was the second-largest city to be included in the top ten list. In addition to the rapidly increasing home values, the city also boasts low property taxes. With a median home cost of $400,000 in 2015, the city experienced a 3.72 percent increase in median values from 2014 to 2015. Yet, despite the high cost of homes, the average effective property tax in the city is just 0.77 percent.
The top ten cities named in the study to offer the best opportunities for homeownership were as follows:
- Denver, Colorado
- Fremont, California
- Aururo, Colorado
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Irvine, California
- Arlington, Virginia
- Gilbert, Arizona
- Santa Ana, California
- Boston, Massachusetts (tie)
- Chandler, Arizona (tie)
While Boston did score pretty high in all of the factors that were considered during the study, the city does remain among one of the most expensive places in the country to purchase a home. For those who can afford to make the purchase, the study shows that it is likely to pay off as a worthwhile investment.