HAMMERING IT HOME
Looking for a brand-new home? With tariffs and a trade war looming and lumber, steel, and aluminum serving as weapons, the economy has a bit of uncertainty to it — but home builders have been busy so far this year. If you want brand-new construction, Texas is your state. Two of its major metro areas remain atop the list of cities with the most new homes from last year, and the state has three metro areas in the top five. Other Sun Belt cities also continue to put up big numbers. Here are the 40 areas where new home construction is hottest, based on building-permit figures from the Census Bureau. Median sale prices come mainly from the National Association of Realtors, with Zillow as a backup in two areas. First-time buyers should check out these cities that cater to new homeowners as well.
HOUSTON | THE WOODLANDS | SUGAR LAND
The booming energy town is by far the market with the most new homes getting built — and for the second year in a row. So far this year, builders have taken out permits for 21,572 new homes.
Median sale price: $229,800, up 3.4 percent from last year
DALLAS | FORT WORTH | ARLINGTON
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is another Texas boomtown, with its population growing to about 7 million from 5.8 million over the past decade. The Dallas metro area is No. 2 when it comes to new home construction, and keeps that slot for the second year in a row, this time with 18,543 building permits issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $250,700, up 6 percent from last year
ATLANTA | SANDY SPRINGS | ROSWELL
Not only does Atlanta have mild winters, it is also a major corporate hub, especially in the area of financial tech. Builders have sought permits for 13,954 new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $204,500, up nearly 12 percent from last year
PHOENIX | MESA | SCOTTSDALE
The Phoenix area is another fast-growing Sun Belt metropolis with permits awarded for 11972 new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $261,100, up nearly 10 percent from last year
AUSTIN | ROUND ROCK
The Austin, Texas, area boasts one of the largest and best public universities in the country, the University of Texas at Austin, with more than 51,000 students and 3,000 professors. There are also lots of new homes, with 8,836 building permits issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $296,400, up 4.5 percent from last year
ORLANDO | KISSIMMEE | SANFORD
The Orlando, Florida, area is a major convention hub and home to Disney World, the area's dominant employer. Builders have taken out permits for 8,313 new homes this year.
Median sale price: $255,000, up nearly 11 percent from last year
CHARLOTTE | CONCORD | GASTONIA
The Charlotte area in North Carolina has the best of both worlds with a booming corporate center and a top public university system. There have been 8,313 permits for new homes issued this year.
Median sale price: $226,400, up 8 percent from last year
WASHINGTON, D.C. | ARLINGTON | ALEXANDRIA
The past couple decades have been boom times for the federal government and the businesses that rely on it. The Washington area housing market has also surged, with 7,286 building permits for new homes issued this year.
Median sale price: $394,400, up nearly 3 percent
TAMPA | ST. PETERSBURG | CLEARWATER
You'll find some of the most beautiful beaches and the best winter weather in the world in Florida's Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Also nice is the number of new homes being built with 7,187 permits awarded this year.
Median sale price: $225,000, up 8.4 percent
NASHVILLE-DAVIDSON | MURFREESBORO | FRANKLIN
Nashville is to country music what Hollywood is to movies. And if anything, country music is bigger than ever these days. So is the Nashville area housing market with building permits for 6,510 new homes issued already this year.
Median sale price: $252,300, up 8.7 percent
DENVER | AURORA | LAKEWOOD
The Denver area offers all the amenities of a big city with the Rockies an hour away and lots of other places to get your outdoor fix nearby. There have been 6,414 building permits issued for new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $441,500, up 11.5 percent
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
The Raleigh area is part of the famed Research Triangle made up of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Duke, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University anchor a thriving local high-tech market and economy. The local restaurant scene is booming, with lots of microbreweries. A lot of homes are also getting built — at least 6,080 this year.
Median sale price: $274,300, up 9.6 percent
RIVERSIDE | SAN BERNARDINO | ONTARIO
The two California counties in this metro market — Riverside and San Bernardino — make up the so-called Inland Empire, which has more than 4 million residents. There have been 6,023 building permits for new homes issued this year.
Median sale price: $350,000, up 7.7 percent
LOS ANGELES | LONG BEACH | ANAHEIM
The capital of the entertainment business and with one of the largest cities in the country, the Los Angeles area has also seen 5,596 permits for new homes issued this year.
Median sale price: $545,500, up 12.3 percent
Perched on Florida's Atlantic coast, Jacksonville is a fast-growing city with a thriving arts and music scene. Also thriving is the housing market, with 5,510 permits for new homes issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $240,500, up 10 percent
LAS VEGAS | HENDERSON | PARADISE
Sin City's casinos are booming again, and so is the housing market. Some 5,382 building permits have been issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $270,200, up 12.4 percent
NEW YORK | NEWARK | JERSEY CITY
The New York metro area is an expensive place to live. The 5,086 permits for new homes issued this year are a lot more than most markets. But don't expect the new homes to do much to bring prices down, given the size of New York metro market.
Median sale price: $389,700, up 1 percent
SEATTLE | TACOMA | BELLEVUE
The Seattle area boasts Microsoft and a thriving high-tech sector, which helps make up for a rainy Pacific Northwest climate. The housing market is also growing, with 4,795 permits for new homes awarded so far this year.
Median sale price: $484,400, up nearly 15 percent
MINNEAPOLIS | ST. PAUL | BLOOMINGTON
Most folks would be happy living near one great city. But the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offer two for the price of one, separated by the Mississippi River. The market for new homes isn't bad either, with 4,321 permits issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $260,400, up 11 percent
CHICAGO | NAPERVILLE | ELGIN
The Windy City is one of the nation's top cities and the de facto capital of the heartland. Along with being a major transportation hub, Chicago is headquarters for at least 30 companies in the Fortune 500. Builders have been granted permits for 4,216 new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $242,100, up nearly 6 percent
SAN ANTONIO | NEW BRAUNFELS
The San Antonio area has big city amenities coupled with a far more relaxed atmosphere than you'll find in New York or other major Northeast hubs. There are 50 major festivals throughout the year. Builders have been issued 4,154 permits for new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $218,900, up 8 percent
INDIANAPOLIS | CARMEL | ANDERSON
Downtown Indianapolis has made a dramatic comeback with new buildings, a new sports stadium, and pedestrian zones. Builders have taken out permits for 3,735 new homes across the Indianapolis area so far this year.
Median sale price: $176,100, up 10.6 percent
MIAMI | FORT LAUDERDALE | WEST PALM BEACH
Always a great place to live, Miami in recent decades has become an international hub, the culturally vibrant gateway to Latin America. The real estate market has recovered nicely as well from the dark days of the Great Recession, with permits for 3,643 new homes issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $340,000, up nearly 7 percent
The state capital, Boise is thriving thanks to an economic mix that features agricultural-related industries, high-tech, and light manufacturing. Many new homes are also getting built, with 3,542 permits issued so far this year.
Median sale price: $246,100, up 18.5 percent
PORTLAND | VANCOUVER | HILLSBORO
The Portland area in Oregon is the Pacific Northwest's other big high-tech hub. "Wonderfully well-evolved, progressive and cosmopolitan" is how the community-ranking website Sperling's Best Places describes Portland and its environs. So far this year 3,487 permits for new homes have been issued in the Portland area.
Median sale price: $384,800, up nearly 7 percent
PHILADELPHIA | CAMDEN | WILMINGTON
Downtown Philadelphia has come a long way over the past few years with new housing, retail outlets, and restaurants helping to provide renewed energy to the area. The metro area is one of the 10 largest in the country. Building permits for 3,454 new homes have been issued so far this year — yet it's worth keeping in mind that among the 40 metro areas on this list, it's one of only two that have seen a decline in median sale price.
Median sale price: $196,900, down 5.8 percent
SACRAMENTO | ROSEVILLE | ARDEN-ARCADE
The capital of California has seen extensive growth as homebuyers flee high prices in the San Francisco area. Proximity to both San Francisco and Lake Tahoe are major pluses. Builders have taken out permits for 3,376 new homes this year.
Median home price: $355,000, up 11 percent
DETROIT | WARREN | DEARBORN
After hitting rock bottom back during the Great Recession, the U.S. auto industry has been on a roll in the past few years. Detroit proper has also seen signs of resurgence as well. Builders have taken out permits for 3,285 new homes this year. But the area is also the only other among the top metro areas to see a decline in median sale price.
Median sale price: $133,700, down nearly 4 percent
NORTH PORT | SARASOTA-BRADENTON
Sarasota, Florida, has been a top resort community for more than a century, with golf introduced to the area in the 1880s. There are now more than 30 golf courses near downtown. The number of new homes popping up is also impressive, with 3,279 building permits taken out so far this year.
Median sale price: $271.100, up nearly 2 percent
MYRTLE BEACH | CONWAY | NORTH MYRTLE BEACH
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, remains one of the country's top vacation spots, with white sandy beaches and lots of high-rise hotels and condos along the waterfront. Building permits for 3,140 new homes have been awarded so far this year in the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area, which includes part Brunswick County in North Carolina.
Median sale price: $209,300, up 7.6 percent
Kansas City is really two cities. Downtown and most of the city's population are on the Missouri side of the Missouri River, while the Kansas side has fast-growing suburbs such as Overland Park. There have been 3,093 building permits for new homes issued this year.
Median sale price: $197,700, up 10.4 percent
CAPE CORAL | FORT MYERS
This touristy area has not just a waterfront, but canals — more miles of canals than any city in the world, according to Cape Coral's official history. But the area's economy isn't flashy, and the top employers are the local hospital and school district. There have been 2,950 building permits for new homes issued this year as the area breaks into the top 40, and without a significant increase in median sales price from last year.
Median sale price: $251,500, up 0.6 percent
BALTIMORE | COLUMBIA | TOWSON
Baltimore's waterfront has seen dramatic renewal in recent years, and the Orioles have given the locals reasons to cheer as well. Builders have also been busy, picking up permits for 2,943 new homes this year.
Median sale price: $253,700, up nearly 7 percent
A major oil industry center, Oklahoma City hasn't fared all too badly over the past several years. Downtown features the "Bricktown" historic district, a new library, a new performing arts center, and new sports venues. Builders have also been busy, taking out 2,929 permits for new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $147,600, up nearly 2 percent
PROVO | OREM
Provo is a college town in Utah, home to Brigham Young University and its 33,500 students. Orem is a suburban community just to the north. The Sundance Film Festival is held not too far way in Provo Canyon. Builders have been issued permits for 2,910 new homes this year, but maybe there should be more, considering how median sales prices have surged.
Median sale price: $272,800, up 25 percent
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
Builders have been issued permits for 2,873 new homes this year as Salt Lake City arrives in the top 40 after an economic boom that's been rolling at least since 2010. In April, experts at an economic summit called Utah the fastest-growing economy in the nation, and of course the state capital (and biggest city) would benefit.
Median sale price: $322,000, up 13.1 percent
After falling upon hard times, downtown St. Louis has been on the rebound, with a flurry of residential development, new sports venues, and renovated warehouse lofts. Builders have taken out 2,776 permits for new homes in the St. Louis area so far this year.
Median sale price: $162,400, up nearly 5 percent
GREENVILLE | ANDERSON | MAULDIN
If you like the mountains, you'll love Greenville, in the rugged northwest part of South Carolina. Downtown is tree-lined and pleasant. Builders have taken out permits for 2,702 new homes so far this year.
Median sale price: $206,200, up 12.1 percent
CHARLESTON | NORTH CHARLESTON
Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most beautiful cities in the South, with many restored and renovated homes dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Once a big port city, it is a major tourism center and refuge for people fleeing the harsher climate and winters of the Northeast. Builders have taken out permits for 2,571 new homes this year.
Median sale price: $273,100, up 7.1 percent
The capital of Virginia, Richmond enjoys relatively mild winters with the Blue Ridge Mountains 90 miles to the west helping shield the city from the worst storms. Builders have been issued permits for 2,455 new homes this year.
Median sale price: $253,000, up nearly 8 percent