Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert are among the 10 healthiest housing markets among American cities with a population of more than 200,000, according to a new study.
SmartAsset, a technology company that provides personal finance advice online, ranked Chandler as having the fifth healthiest, ahead of seventh-placed Mesa and Gilbert, which was number 10 in the survey.
“Homeowners in a healthy market should be able to easily sell their homes, with a relatively low risk of losing money,” Smart Asset said.
To determine market health, the site analyzed stability, affordability, fluidity and risk of loss.
It said it based its stability rate on the average number of years people own their homes and the percentage of homeowners with negative equity.
“To measure risk, we used the percentage of homes that decreased in value. To determine housing market fluidity, we looked at data on the average time a for-sale home in each area spent on the market—the longer homes take to sell, the less fluid the market,” the study said.
It based its affordability calculations on the monthly cost of owning a home as a percentage of household income.
Affordability accounted for 40 percent of the healthiest markets index, while each of the other three factors accounted for 20 percent, Smart Asset said.
The site said Buffalo, New York, had the healthiest housing market.
It was followed by Lincoln, Nebraska; Fremont, California; and Durham, California. The other cities in its top 10 were Colorado Springs, Colorado (6); Raliegh, North Carolina (8); and Glendale, Arizona (9).
For Chandler, the site said owners live an average 11 years and one month in their homes versus a national average of 12 years and two months and an average 10 ½ years in Mesa and nine years/two months in Gilbert.
Chandler had a higher percentage of homes that have decreased in value. At 5.1 percent, it was behind the 4 percent of Mesa houses that have lost value and a mere 2.8 percent in Gilbert. But all three cities were well below the 18.8 percent of homes that have decreased in value nationwide.
Chandler homes stay on the market for 65 days as opposed to 49 days in Mesa and 64 in Gilbert, according to the study. But all three East Valley cities had better averages than the national average 82 days on the market.
Chandler picked up a few points over Mesa in terms of the average percentage of household income spend on homeownership—everything from mortgage and interest to maintenance.
The study said Chandler homeowners spend an average 19.2 percent of their annual household income on home ownership as opposed to 20.1 percent in Mesa.
However, Gilbert homeowners spend an average 19.4 percent of their income on their homes.
Again, all homeowners in three East Valley cities do better than the national average of 21.1 percent, the study said.