It will come as no shock to those currently on the hunt for a new home that housing prices are on the rise. What might come as a surprise, however, is just how much of an uptick the country is seeing.
According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, U.S. home prices rose 5.8% in March over the year-ago period — the largest annual gain in nearly three years (33 months).
Curious to know which areas of the country saw the biggest price hikes? Among the nation’s 20 major U.S. metro areas, here are the places that saw the highest year-over-year gains:
1. Seattle (12.3%)
2. Portland (9.2%)
3. Dallas (8.6%)
4. Denver (8.4%)
5. Boston (7.7%)
The average annual increase for the 20-city composite was 5.9%, though a half of those on the list experienced more than a 6% price increase between March 2016 and March 2017.
As for why home prices continue to rise, analysts suggest that a low inventory of homes for sale may be the cause, as people are opting to stay in their homes longer rather than sell them. If mortgage rates rise (currently, they are hovering around 4%, according to the report) the upward trend could continue as homeowners back off further from selling.
If that news bums out all the would-be homebuyers out there, then maybe it’s worth taking a look at the places that experienced the lowest rate of price increases in the 20-city index:
1. New York (4.1%)
2. Washington (4.2%)
3. Cleveland (4.3%)
4. Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa (tied at 5.1%)
5. Los Angeles (5.3%)
Of course, price won’t be the only factor that plays into your home-buying decision. Check out these best cities for first-time home buyers. And if you’re still not confident that buying a home is the right choice for you, here’s when renting might be your best option.