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Best cities for homeowners in 2022

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Right now buying a home can seem out of reach for many, thanks to both high prices and rising interest rates. But if you already own a home, you may be enjoying the extra equity you've accumulated from increasing property values. That said, some cities provide a better boost for homeowners than others. 

The Zebra looked at the 50 most populous American cities to find which ones are better for homeowners. We analyzed three main data points for this evaluation:

  • Average homeowners insurance premiums by state: Having a less expensive policy keeps monthly mortgage payments lower since annual premiums are paid into an escrow account to be managed by your mortgage loan servicer.
  • Contractor availability: Maintaining a home is hard enough without having to wait around for a contractor who's never coming. The top cities have a high location quotient for contractors, meaning there is a higher concentration of this job based on population.
  • Increase in home value: We pulled the year-over-year average increase in value between the second quarters of 2021 and 2022. 

Explore the 10 best U.S. cities for homeowners who want to easily maintain their property while also building their equity.


#1: Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City has the highest concentration of contractors of all of the cities we surveyed. That extra bit of industry competition makes it easier for homeowners to not only find someone with availability, but also to compare multiple quotes in order to find the best person for the job. Home values also increased substantially between 2021 and 2022 in Salt Lake City, giving homeowners extra equity in their properties. Finally, homeowners insurance prices are among the lowest in the country, averaging $740 per year.

Salt Lake City by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $740
  • Contractor availability: 1.58
  • Annual home value increase: 24.7%

#2: Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas property values jumped nearly 25% in one year, placing it just behind Salt Lake City in terms of equity increases. Homeowners insurance costs just over $800 for a year (or about $67 monthly). Plus, contractor availability is fairly strong, with a location quotient of 1.20.

Las Vegas by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $841
  • Contractor availability: 1.20
  • Annual home value increase: 24.5%

#3: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix homeowners not only get to enjoy year-round sunshine, they also get to see their property values increase consistently. In 2022, area homes sold for 21.4% more than the previous year. There's also a relatively high concentration for contractors, with Phoenix coming in the top 10 for all cities we surveyed. Although homeowners insurance is a bit higher than our first two cities, it's still affordable in Arizona at $1,410.

Phoenix by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,410
  • Contractor availability: 1.18
  • Annual home value increase: 21.4%

#4: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh has one of the cheapest homeowners insurance premiums in the country and is the least expensive out of all the cities we evaluated. The average annual cost is just $1004, which only adds an extra $83 to a monthly mortgage payment. Home values aren't increasing quite as aggressively as in other cities, but there is a high concentration of contractors to help with home improvement projects.

Pittsburgh by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,004
  • Contractor availability: 1.38
  • Annual home value increase: 13.5%

#5: Seattle, Washington

Like Pittsburgh, Seattle home values are increasing at a slower clip than some of our top ranking cities. But at 14.4% annual appreciation, that's still well above historic norms. Plus, homeowners insurance costs average less than $75 per month and there are a healthy number of contractors to hire when needed.

Seattle by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $878
  • Contractor availability: 1.19
  • Annual home value increase: 14.4%

#6 (tied): Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is another city in which home prices are soaring, which is good news for homeowners who are looking to build equity right where they are. Home prices increased 21.5% between 2021 and 2022. That said, contractors are less abundant in Raleigh. Homeowners insurance is a bit higher than others on this list, averaging around $1,661.

Raleigh by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,661
  • Contractor availability: 0.94
  • Annual home value increase: 21.5%

#6 (tied): Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis homeowners are able to keep their monthly mortgage payments low thanks to insurance premiums hovering around $111 per month. Property values are increasing at a slightly lower rate, but still at a healthy 15.9% year-over-year. Additionally, the contractor location quotient is at 1.08, indicating a higher concentration of this profession in and around Indianapolis.

Indianapolis by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,343
  • Contractor availability: 1.08
  • Annual home value increase: 15.9%

#8 (tied): Tampa, Florida

Tampa has experienced the greatest increase in home value out of all the cities we evaluated. Between the second quarters of 2021 and 2022, values have jumped a whopping 28%. On top of that, there is an above average concentration of contractors, so homeowners can tackle projects more readily. However, insurance premiums are slightly higher in Florida, likely because of hurricane risk. The average monthly premium is around $131.

Tampa by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,572
  • Contractor availability: 1.15
  • Annual home value increase: 28%

#8 (tied): Jacksonville, Florida

Despite sharing higher homeowners insurance premiums with Tampa, Jacksonville has also experienced a boom in house prices, increasing nearly 24% over the last year. Plus, homeowners who want to take on a renovation project or simply get external help with maintenance can enjoy a relatively high location quotient of contractors.

Jacksonville by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,572
  • Contractor availability: 1.16
  • Annual home value increase: 23.8%

#8 (tied): Charlotte, North Carolina

Back in North Carolina, Charlotte is another Southern city that is serving homeowners well. Home values increased 17.5% between 2021 and 2022. Insurance premiums are higher but still manageable. The concentration of contractors in the area is average compared to the size of the city's population.

Charlotte by the numbers

  • Average homeowners insurance premium: $1,661
  • Contractor availability: 1.01
  • Annual home value increase: 17.5%

 


Methodology

The Zebra pulled three data points to analyze the top 50 MSAs (by population) in the U.S. related to owning a home: 

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