Homeownership is a big part of the American dream, though that goal became more expensive in 2022.
NashvillesMLS examined data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to see where home values have appreciated or grown the most over the past year. Metros were ranked by the one-year home appreciation from the third quarter of 2021 to the third quarter of 2022.
To be included in this analysis, each metro had to have recorded at least 15,000 real estate transactions over the past 10 years. Metro areas include the central city and its surrounding towns and suburbs.
U.S. home prices jumped 12.4% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the year before, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index.
Home prices rose in all 50 states and Washington D.C. over the past year, but the largest increases were in the southernmost states, from Florida and South Carolina to Arizona and California, an area often called the "Sun Belt."
Florida topped the list, with prices in the Sunshine State rising 22.7% compared to the year before. In fact, 14 of the 15 metro areas showing the highest price increases were in Florida, though many other areas in the U.S. Southeast made an appearance.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +24.88%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +74.31%
Miami is known worldwide for glamorous beaches and expensive sports cars cruising down the highways with their tops down so passengers can soak up the sun.
Prices for single-family homes in Miami-Dade County continue to rise, according to local real estate figures, and reached a median of $568,000 in September 2022. Condominium units are more affordable, with a median price of $395,000.
Plenty of people are drawn to Miami for all the benefits of living in Florida, including beautiful beaches and no personal income tax, combined with the entertainment options and job opportunities of a large city.
Miami is home to immigrants from Central and South America, Cuba, and Haiti. The cultural and epicurean traditions of those places are deeply interwoven with the city's identity. The city also offers plenty of bars and clubs, contributing to a nightlife experience unlike anywhere else.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +24.90%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +79.47%
A small town on the South Carolina coast held a "name-the-town" contest in 1900 when few people lived there year-round. The name Myrtle Beach won the contest, though it didn't officially become a city of over 5,000 permanent residents for another 57 years.
Myrtle Beach was a military town for almost half a century until the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base closed in 1993. After the closure, its population continued to climb, reaching over 400,000 in 2022.
Lower prices are likely a significant draw for prospective residents. A Forbes review found the cost of living in Myrtle Beach was 9% lower, and housing was 32% cheaper than the national average.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +24.92%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +69.02%
Savannah is a picturesque Southern town with antebellum architecture and massive trees draped with Spanish moss. The 1994 book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"—and the Clint Eastwood-directed movie inspired by it—was set here, helping to raise Savannah's profile among other lively, stately Southern cities.
A Forbes analysis found that home costs are 29% lower, and the cost of living is 13% lower than the national average. These lower prices and Southern charm likely played a role in the increase in home prices there.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +25.05%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +74.53%
Raleigh was named for the twice-imprisoned British explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, who, despite sponsoring several expeditions to the New World, never actually set foot in his namesake city, or anywhere in what is now North Carolina, for that matter.
The verdant city of Raleigh was nicknamed the "City of Oaks" by its founders in the late 1700s. Though the widespread, sturdy trees may be a welcome sign to many visitors and residents, the 24 million U.S. residents suffering from hay fever may be less impressed.
In addition to the tree-lined streets, employment is bound to be a big draw to Raleigh. In 2020, reviewing the most recent data available, Glassdoor found Raleigh the best city for jobs among the 50 most populated U.S. metropolitan areas.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +25.39%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +80.35%
Whether referred to as "Music City" or "NashVegas," the bright lights and festive sounds of the city brought in over 14 million tourists in 2022.
While primarily considered the home of country music, every aspect of the music industry is represented here, including in iconic venues like the nearly 100-year-old Grand Ole Opry or recording studios like Sound Emporium. It's even home to the largest record-pressing operation in North America.
Nashville residents enjoy prices that hover near U.S. averages. While home prices are 4% higher than average, living costs are 3% lower.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +25.48%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +70.43%
If asked to picture a retirement community, what comes to mind is potentially cookie-cutter residences and maybe even a swimming pool or a golf course. If you could scale that image to house over 125,000 residents, 50 golf courses, and over 90 miles of golf cart paths, you're describing The Villages in Florida.
Homes in the area cover a massive price range. Empty lots are for sale for as low as $5,000, with existing homes available for $160,000 to $2.3 million.
The Villages has community requirements to join the residences, but homeowners aren't required to be over the age of 55.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +25.53%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +74.11%
Durham, along with Raleigh, at #17 on this list, is part of North Carolina's "Research Triangle" region, named for its proximity to three major universities: North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University.
Those three schools, along with Wake Forest, are college basketball powerhouses and have been cited as anchors of a hoops-crazy region nicknamed "Tobacco Road" for the crop's role in their founding, funding, and culture.
Those aren't the only legendary sports teams in Durham, though. The city's minor league baseball team, the Durham Bulls, featured in the 1988 movie "Bull Durham," won the 2022 AAA Minor League Championship.
There's plenty of work for those not as interested in sports: The city's unemployment is regularly lower than the national unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median sales price in November 2022 was $400,000, according to the local real estate trade group.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +25.58%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +84.04%
Jacksonville shares the beaches of many coastal areas in Florida, plus the state's tax advantages, while also having a lower cost of living and average home price than the rest of the country. For fishing enthusiasts, it's a popular place to cast a line. It's home to the Northeast Florida Wahoo Shootout, which the city claims is the largest tournament in the world focused on catching wahoo, a sportfish prized for its speed and taste.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +25.83%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +79.85%
Naples is known for being a ritzy Southwest Florida community that's popular with retirees. A contributor to that may be the vast number of golf courses—an analysis of data from the BLS found that the area has more golf courses and country clubs per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +26.09%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +93.46%
In the center of the I-4 corridor—the interstate that bisects Florida horizontally from Tampa through Orlando to Daytona Beach—lies the tiny town of Lakeland. Well known among aviators for Sun 'n Fun, the second-largest aviation expo in the world, the area offers ready access to attractions in Orlando and Tampa, with a cost of living that's 6% lower than the national average.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +26.31%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +88.16%
Deltona offers access to beaches on the east coast of the state of Florida, like Daytona Beach, which is just 30 minutes away. But, for those less inclined toward the saltwater life, residents can spend the day on nearby Lake Monroe instead.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +26.64%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +86.13%
Palm Bay is named for an actual bay, which was later partially filled in to build U.S. Route 1. But there are quieter beaches in this east coast section of Florida—and some serious noise during rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center, which is part of this metro area.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +26.94%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +90.90%
Port St. Lucie is almost perfectly equidistant from Orlando and Miami, around 120 miles from each. Port St. Lucie is also a draw for some New York baseball fans, as the New York Mets are based here for spring training.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +27.09%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +89.46%
Many of the Florida cities listed here thrive because they are close to beaches and attractions, but the wide-open spaces of Ocala are a draw to horse breeders. In fact, the Ocala-based Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' & Owners' Association actually trademarked "Horse Capital of the World" as a nickname for the city.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +27.29%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +76.84%
Fort Lauderdale experienced a population and construction boom after World War II, though it did not grow as rapidly as some of its nearby cities and even saw a dip in residents in the 1990s. It retains the urban feel of larger Florida cities while remaining smaller and more spread out. That feeling will cost you: The cost of living is 19% higher here than the national average.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +27.96%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +96.34%
Tampa is the largest city in the top five of our list, and with size comes great rewards. Residents can enjoy professional football and baseball, the Florida Aquarium, and the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay amusement park. You might expect to pay dearly for these privileges, but the cost of living is actually right at the national average.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +28.20%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +80.40%
West Palm Beach's name may evoke visions of a sandy seaside beach, though that is nowhere to be found in West Palm. However, if you take a quick stroll to neighboring Palm Beach, you'll find an oceanfront beach and might run into one of the over 30 billionaires who live there.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +29.84%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +87.68%
Cape Coral was designed with homeownership in mind, especially homes on the water. To maximize waterfront real estate, developers built a series of so many canals in the city they outnumber even those in Venice, Italy.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +30.0%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +93.61%
Punta Gorda dominated headlines after two major hurricanes made landfall there: Charley, in 2004; and Ian, in 2022. Charley was devastating to the area, but government officials learned lessons from the storm and updated building codes to ensure they were more resilient in the future. To the relief of residents, it appears to have worked: The Washington Post reported that the 2022 storm did far less damage.
- Home price appreciation since 2021: +31.05%
- Home price appreciation since 2017: +92.11%
North Port is the only place in Florida that has an entire state forest within its limits, in addition to 80 miles of freshwater canals. While many of those canals lack a relaxing beach, many are lined with mangroves, and Lido Key offers mangrove tunnels for explorers to check out.
This story originally appeared on NashvillesMLS and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.