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Forbes’ Top Ten Best Housing Markets Across America

How does your city rank?

Pittsburgh at Night by released their list of Top 10 Best Housing Markets based primarily on the stability of each metro area as measured by affordability rankings and foreclosure rates as an indicator of a lack of excess inventory, making the top cities what they call the best opportunities for home shoppers. Lists are a dime a dozen, but Forbes is pretty reliable with their data analysis and take a big picture view of the market.

Here are the top ten best housing markets:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Louisville, KY
  3. Houston, TX
  4. Minneapolis, MN
  5. Indianapolis, IA
  6. Memphis, TN
  7. Columbus, OH
  8. St. Louis, MO
  9. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  10. Austin, TX

Interestingly enough, this top 10 doesn’t have any cities in common with Zillow’s Top 10 Cities for a Bargain list also released this month (which names Naples as the top city).

There are cities for a bargain and cities that are the “best,” but studies show homeowners to currently be pessimistic and confused, so I suppose these lists don’t help, but it’s great fodder for local real estate blogs!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Susie Blackmon

    February 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Hi Lani, yes fodder but always interesting. And good for the public being cautious and pessimistic. It’s not like they’ve been led down the truthful path consistently.

  2. Mashel Rathmell

    February 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

    As an agent in the Pittsburgh market area this is an extremely interesting article. During the past year whenever anyone asked how the market was I would tell them these same facts. It is nice to have this article to fall back on for proof, thanks for posting

  3. Houstonblogger

    February 25, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I am more than a bit perturbed by quite a few things. Houston always shows up as high up on the list, because we ARE doing quite well. However, even our local newspaper disputes this and throws out scary stories to the consumer about how our housing market is going into the toilet.

    Honestly, I don’t know what to think about the Zillow lists. Especially when 3 homes that I sold 2 years ago are still shown on there as active with no price changes other than appraisal value. So, if they go off of such information, I don’t find it very helpful.

    Also, what about new home builders? If they are not in the MLS, which a lot aren’t, how much data are we lacking there? I have sold a few homes from builders this year and those stats don’t show up in my HAR ratings. Just a bit of frustration on my part.

    This Forbes list made me smile because I truly felt like they might have some clue as to what is happening in TX.

  4. Eric Hempler

    February 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Glad to be in the Minneapolis area.

  5. Robert M Byrne

    February 25, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I agree with the fodder comment, since stories like this are there to get readers attention. They are the potato chips, and cookies of media…fun to consume but no nutritional value! What would be more correct would be a full in the blank version:

    1) Where do you work?
    2) Where is your family/support system?
    3) Where are your friends?
    4) What Metro area has access to the activities you enjoy?

    There are your top four choices! If fact your top four might be the same place.

  6. Jordan

    February 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    …Been experiencing a bit of writers block in my newly developed blog. Thanks. Will def. use this!

  7. Michael Sosnowski

    February 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Its hard to keep track of all the lists! Just a few short months ago Forbes published its 10 best places to live, and Portland Maine (btw, our home town) was listed there. First as a matter of fact. None of the top cities on the two Forbes lists are the same – what gives? One thing to notice, however, is that the criteria for the “Most Livable City” did not include any factor for housing. At the time I didn’t think about it, but it probably should have. If anyone is interested, Portland suffered during the downturn, but not nearly to the same degree that many of you have faced in other markets.

  8. patrizia giassa

    February 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Hmmmm, very interesting. Now, does that mean that there are jobs and good schools as well? Housing is only one factor. However, for folks who live in these cities or are moving there anyway, they should definitely buy.

  9. Jim Olenbush

    February 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Glad to see Austin on the list, even if it is number 10 out of the top 10! : )

  10. Linda Laycock

    February 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I’m from a small Panhandle Community in Texas and Glad to see 3 Texas cities in the top ten-when most of the media you hear are talking about how bad the housing market is in these areas-Texas is a pretty stable market-has been around here and picking up. People are starting to loosen up after 2009 and get back to business.

  11. Nashville Grant

    February 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Also, how in the heck can Memphis be both the 6th best city for housing according to Forbes and the 3rd most miserable city according to Forbes?? Same year, same magazine…

    • Kim Novarese

      March 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Well,you make an interesting point. Memphis has alot of great entertainment ,great athelics,great BBQ,great parks & the nicest people you will ever meet. So,it’s about time
      a the top 10 list – We deserve it!!!
      people are some of the most friendly people you will meet

  12. Brad Hardy

    February 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    We are here in San Antonio and although Texas has not had it as bad as the rest of the country we are still under water. When you are “under water” it does not mater if you are 10 feet or 10 inches under, you are still drowning. Let’s all quit pretending things are so rosy and take our medicine so we can start the real recovery !!!


    February 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    North of the border the Toronto real estate market is extremely strong with many houses attracting multiple offers.

  14. Sandra Grenell

    March 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Just curious…So, what does Forbes R.E. writers know or think of Honolulu, Hawaii? Our market is actually very reasonable inspite of being an Island (a beautiful Island) in the middle of the Pacific…We also have good investment properties…Just curious! Aloha!

  15. victor

    April 12, 2010 at 1:11 am

    fyi, a correction: fwiw, Pittsburgh, PA is on the Zillow list as #10.

  16. John Herrigel

    June 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Too bad Portland Maine did not make the cut. As a realtor up here I would have to say our market is performing quite well as of late. Prices seem to have stabilized and transaction volume is quite healthy.

  17. Tim Thornton

    January 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It is not surprising that Austin continues to show up on these lists for one of the top cities in the nation for "recovery" and continued growth in Real Estate. Austin suffered very little (by a national standard) to the Real Estate demise–largely due to our lake of participation in the national bubble. Yes, Austin did rise and fall to some same degree from 2006 to 2009, but over all, the Austin market has been fairly stable, and appears to be pulling out of a flat market and moving quickly toward an aggressive 2012 ahead.

  18. Randall M

    January 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    As proof that this article is false, when a town in IOWA with the name of INDIANAPOLIS makes the charts it is all BS

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