Market Madness

Of course North Texas is home to the best real estate markets in the U.S.

North Texas is home to the best real estate markets in the U.S.

5201 Promise Land Drive Frisco house for sale
Frisco is still the national champ. Photo courtesy of Keller Williams Realty

While global buyers are saturating the Texas real estate market and Flower Mound is collecting accolades for its stable investor returns, North Texas is busy dominating another list: the most attractive real estate markets in the U.S.

Analysts at personal finance website WalletHub compared 300 cities across 21 key metrics to determine not only tangible assets, such as an area's common square footage and home style, but also historical market trends and the economic health of a city's residents. Those metrics make up two rankings — "real estate market" and "affordability and economic environment" — that look at everything from median home-price appreciation and foreclosure rates to the population growth rate and median credit score. The real estate market rank makes up a whopping 80 percent of the score.

So, who's far and away the winner? Returning champ Frisco, which places No. 1 in both categories and earns a total score of 83 points out of 100. Hot on its heels are McKinney (No. 2) and Allen (No. 3), with Richardson coming in at No. 5 and Carrollton making a showing at No. 8.

Plano has slipped a bit from last year, going from No. 9 down to No. 27, and so has Denton, which takes a big tumble to No. 55 from No. 12. Dallas, meanwhile, is still hovering in somewhat the same range: No. 57 (compared to last year's No. 42).

Perhaps the biggest shift comes from Austin, which in 2016 basked in the No. 5 ranking and this year doesn't show up until No. 68. Fort Worth is similar, dropping from No. 23 to No. 87.

If you want to separate the cities by size, North Texas still comes out on top. McKinney takes the crown as best mid-size city (150,000-300,000 people), and Frisco, Allen, and Richardson hold down the top three for small cities (fewer than 150,000 people). Dallas finally jumps up a bit, landing at No. 11 on the big cities list (more than 300,000 people).

Mesquite gets a shout-out as one of the five cities where it takes the fewest days to sell a house, while Frisco and Allen score points again for having some of the lowest maintenance costs as a percentage of homeowners' income.

You might want to avoid sinking your real-estate dollars into the Northeast, as Connecticut's Hartford and Bridgeport and New Jersey's Elizabeth, Paterson, and Newark all land at the bottom of the list, with Newark ranking dead last in each category.