Looking for the Housing Markets Most Likely to Outperform in 2020? Look South

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A collection of relatively affordable, sun-belt markets are among those in which home value growth in 2020 is most expected to outperform the national average, according to a panel of experts recently surveyed by Zillow.

As part of the Q4 2019 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, sponsored by Zillow and administered by Pulsenomics, a panel of more than 100 U.S. economists and real estate experts was asked to rate their 2020 expectations for home value growth compared to the nation in 25 large markets nationwide. On average, panelists said they expected U.S. home values to grow by 2.8% in 2020. In order to create a score for each of the 25 markets analyzed, the share of panelists saying they expected a market to outperform that average was weighed against the share saying they expected it to underperform.

Austin, Atlanta and Charlotte, scored highest among the panelists, with scores of 76, 59 and 51, respectively. A whopping 83% of respondents said they expected Austin to outperform, undercut slightly by the 7% that said they expected the Texas state capital to underperform. And even though Charlotte received a lower overall score than Austin, it was the only market among the 25 analyzed in which none of the panelists said they expected it to underperform.

Of the 14 markets that received a positive score (a higher share of panelists said they expected the market to outperform than underperform), 11 were in Texas or elsewhere in the Southwest or Southeast. Portland, Minneapolis and Denver were the only non-Southern markets to make the list of those expected to outperform.

Seattle was the only market to receive a neutral score, with an even 40% of panelists each saying they expected it to underperform and overperform, and the balance saying they expected Seattle’s housing market in 2020 to perform about on par with the national average.

A group of pricey California markets topped the list of those most expected to underperform, with the worst scores tallied in San Francisco (-40), San Jose (-38) and Los Angeles (-35). Of the 10 markets that received negative scores, six were in California (the three mentioned above, plus Riverside, Sacramento and San Diego). Cincinnati, Columbus, Miami and Oklahoma City rounded out the list of 10 markets most expected to underperform.

And panelists didn’t just expect those large California markets to underperform, but maybe still grow slightly – in many cases, they said they expected the typical home values in those places to outright fall, ending 2020 lower than where they began the year. Panelists, 42 total, who thought at least one major metro would see falling home values in 2020 generally agreed that California markets would make that list. A majority (57%) of these panelists expect home values to fall in San Francisco, and half said they expected the same in San Jose. More than a third (38%) said they expected home values in L.A. to fall in 2020, followed by 29% in both San Diego and Riverside, and 24% in Sacramento.

Nashville was the only market analyzed in which no panelists said they expected home values to fall in 2020.

markets expected to fall

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