San Antonio, Austin, Houston Among Top Housing Markets, Going Into 2015

According to a recent report, the San Antonio real estate market is currently one of the most stable in the nation. Two other Texas metropolitan areas made the top-five list as well. Outside of Texas, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles were also noted for being very stable.

“MiMi” might sound like somebody’s aunt, but it’s actually a sophisticated indicator of what’s happening in local housing markets across the United States. MiMi stands for Multi-Indicator Market Index®. It’s an interactive data-crunching platform created by the housing economists and analysts at Freddie Mac.

The tool measures housing stability at the city, metro and national level. It determines where each market is in relation to its own “long-term stable range,” based on such factors as home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), the local employment picture, and other economic factors.

San Antonio, Austin, Houston Listed as Most Stable Housing Markets

According to the latest MiMi numbers, San Antonio, Texas was the most stable housing market in the United States as we approach 2015. Real estate markets in Austin, Salt Lake City, Houston and Los Angeles rounded out the top five in terms of stability.

According to the latest report: “Among the top 50 metros [measured in the MiMi index], San Antonio ranks first unchanged from last month and unchanged since last year.”

San Antonio’s housing market is outperforming the national average as well. Here is how they stack up in the four primary categories measured by the index:

MiMi San Antonio
MiMi comparison of San Antonio and national trends. Source: Freddie Mac. Enlarge

Of the five most stable real estate markets in the country, three were in Texas. In addition to San Antonio, Austin and Houston were also ranked highly in the latest assessment. This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows housing trends in the U.S. The major metro areas of Texas have all been thriving in recent years, where home prices and housing strength are concerned. (We covered the rapidly rising prices in Houston just last month.)

According to recent reports from the San Antonio Board of Realtors, this market is experiencing strong demand and limited supply, which is driving home prices north. People are practically — and sometimes literally — lining up to buy houses across the greater San Antonio area. Additional price gains are likely in 2015, though they probably won’t be as steep as what we’ve seen over the last year.

View our national housing outlook for 2015

Market fundamentals are driving home prices up in Houston as well. Each month, Realtor.com publishes a housing market summary with data for 146 of the largest metro areas in the country. In their latest report, which contained data through the end of October 2014, Houston had the second-highest annual increase in its median list price. The median price rose 27.1% during the 12-month reporting period from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014. Only Las Vegas had a larger annual increase.

Salt Lake City and Los Angeles Also Ranked Highly, Going Into 2015

Along with the three Texas metros, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City were also ranked highly in the latest MiMi report. According to Zillow, home prices within the Los Angles real estate market have risen 8% over the last year or so. This is largely the result of limited supply, a condition that is boosting house values across much of California.

Salt Lake City has a more balanced supply-and-demand situation at present, but prices are rising there as well. According to Jim Wood, director of the University of Utah’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the gains are partly due to “remarkable employment growth” over the last couple of years. Salt Lake City has one of the lowest unemployment rates of any U.S. city — 3.2% when measured in September.

Disclaimer: This story contains third-party data and information that are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. It also contains forward-looking statements relating to housing market conditions in 2015. Such statements are the equivalent of an educated guess and should not be viewed as fact. We make no guarantees or claims about future conditions within the real estate market or broader economy.