The U.S. housing market is on fire, driven by a rising stock market, low mortgage rates, and a new ability of millions of American’s to relocate. According to the carefully followed S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Index, home prices nationwide rose 19.8% in August, compared to the same month last year. Among the 20 cities tracked by the study, Phoenix topped the list with a 33.3% figure based on the same time period.
Although mortgage rates have ticked up slightly, buyers can still get a 30 year fixed rate of under 3%. And, many can move simply because they can work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has caused a migration from America’s expensive coastal cities like New York and San Francisco to less expensive cities with a better “quality of life” located inland. Ironically, migration has pushed home prices in these smaller cities up sharply.
HomeFresh has just released a study titled “The Most Stressful Cities to Buy a Home in the US“. Part of the methodology was based on words used on Twitter. Another part was based on data from the language analysis tool TensiStrength. The terms used for the analysis were: “Moving house, moved house, house offer, estate agents, house sale, house bid, house negotiation, first-time buyer, house contract, property lawyer, property solicitor, buying house, bought house, relocating, relocated, house budget, moving.” The study covered July through September. Among the comments made by the researchers was:
…a new home is also about your environment – and the people with whom you complete the process. That means that home-buying is more stressful in some locations than others.
The average stress level across the U.S. was 47.3%. The city with the highest stress level was Bangor, ME at 70%. It was followed by Richmond, VA at 65.4%, Bremerton, WA at 65%, Lincolnshire, IL at 62.5%, and Bozeman, MT at 62.5%. Obviously, there is no geographic pattern. There is no population size pattern, either.
Among the least stressful cities were Sioux Falls, SD at 21.1%, Louisville, KY at 32.3%, and Lincoln, NE at 33.3%. Also, no discernable pattern.