These 9 Expensive Locations Are Still Worth Buying In

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Home values have been on an upswing, and they likely won’t come down any time soon. The main driving forces behind the spike in cost are low inventory and high interest rates, two issues that won’t resolve overnight. As a result, Zillow predicts that prices will rise by more than 6% by this summer compared to last summer.

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The current real estate environment has many would-be homeowners questioning if buying a house in the next five years is realistic or a wise move. The truth is, depending on your circumstances, any time can be a good time to purchase a home — even when it may be expensive to do so.

We talked to several real estate agents to get their take on where you may want to invest regardless of current sale prices. The experts we spoke with think buying homes in these areas could make you rich over time since property values are poised to increase.

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Salt Lake City

Justin Sisson, a Realtor with Bickmore & Associates Realty, said that Salt Lake City, “while becoming less and less affordable, may still be worth investing in.”

Sisson believes that property values will continue to increase, partially due to projected Federal Reserve interest rate cuts but largely due to scarcity.

“Land is becoming less available in Utah, which will limit how many homes can be built,” Sisson said.

Sisson added that the area is also resilient, with property values seeing a lower decline during the 2008 housing crash than in places like Las Vegas.

Plus, “when you look at the Covid era we are currently living in, Utah saw a 76% increase in home values in two years, which was one of the largest increases in the nation for that time period. Likewise, since the Federal Reserve started increasing rates in 2022, Utah has only seen a 1.38% decrease in home values,” Sisson said.

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Park City, Utah

If you want a small-town feel close to Salt Lake City, Park City, Utah, may be worth a look. The city features high-end homes ranging from just under $1 million to $40 million-plus.

“Park City, Utah, has been one of the top second home markets in the country for many years. The ease of access from Salt Lake City Airport and Heber Airport (if flying private) often edge out other difficult to get to locations such as Aspen, Telluride, Sun Valley, and Jackson Hole,” said luxury real estate agent Josh Chapel.

“While still a small town of about seven thousand residents, Park City has been steadily expanding in the surrounding areas. Looking ahead, we have significant events and developments that will continue to fuel both popularity and home appreciation,” Chapel added.

Scottsdale, Arizona

“Scottsdale is not only a destination location, but it is just a short drive to the growing city of Phoenix. With more and more jobs moving to the greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale is absolutely worth buying in! Phoenix recently became the fifth most populated city in the United States, and the projected growth is not stopping anytime soon!” said Gabriella Siciliano, a Realtor with HUNT Real Estate.

“Scottsdale has so much to offer. You can find an array of golf courses, day spas, and beautiful hiking trails nearby! Many Scottsdale homes have breathtaking mountain views, which make them even more desirable. We have seen an influx of buyers from all over the country moving to Scottsdale, and this has created a competitive market, driving prices up,” Siciliano continued.

Thanks to popular events happening in the area throughout the year, Siciliano said, “If you are looking to invest in short-term rentals (like Airbnb and VRBO), you can almost guarantee your rental will be booked the majority of the time. If you are looking to invest in a long-term rental, consider buying near ASU to provide student housing. Or, [buy property] in and around the greater Phoenix area, as many manufacturing jobs are starting to pop up here!”

“Even simply investing in an owner-occupied home is a great choice because your equity will grow more quickly than in other areas of the country. [Plus], we have some of the lowest property taxes in the country, which will definitely save you money in the long run!” Siciliano said.

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Anthony Kirlew, a Realtor with EXP Realty, encourages homebuyers to consider Paradise Valley, Arizona, despite the high price of living there.

“Paradise Valley, Arizona, has been ranked among the top 100 most expensive zip codes in the U.S. for the past five years, according to PropertyShark.com. It is a highly sought-after community due to the residents it attracts, which includes executive leaders, professional athletes, actors, and musicians,” Kirlew said.

“For those with the financial means, it is a great town to live in, as it is quiet and remains one of the lowest crime areas in the country. If one is looking for a charming luxury community boasting palatial resorts and adjacent to some of the best golf courses Arizona has to offer, it’s worth buying a home in Paradise Valley,” Kirlew said.

Palm Springs, California

If you have the money to do it, you may want to explore available properties in Palm Springs, California.

“Palm Springs is a luxury home market, and I think it is an area still worth buying a home in,” said Realtor Geoffrey Moore.

“The Hollywood history and incredible architecture make this city unique, and the limited supply of inventory of homes in Palm Springs will help to push prices higher in the future. Another thing that makes this city attractive to retirees and those looking for second homes to escape the winter months is the international airport, which makes traveling to this city easy,” Moore said.

Los Angeles

Will Wheaton, a broker at Will Wheaton Real Estate, thinks you should buy property in the iconic city of Los Angeles, particularly in the San Fernando Valley area, despite high home prices.

“The entertainment industry, as well as the tech sector, still make Los Angeles very attractive for home buyers and sellers alike,” Wheaton said. “Homes are in high demand in Los Angeles. Although [prices] have skyrocketed, high demand and low supply are helping prices to sustain and push higher even in the current interest rate environment. Furthermore, as interest rates decline, this demand will increase as a result of the buyers who have been priced out re-entering the marketplace.”

New York City

“New York City is an expensive location that is still worth buying in because it’s so expensive. Even with events like 9/11 and the pandemic, there was little impact on the real estate prices in New York City for any significant period of time. Its resilience to outside factors makes it a smart investment because the likelihood of anything negatively impacting real estate prices is extremely low, and therefore, the likelihood of prices going down is slim,” said real estate associate broker Janine Acquafredda.

“[R]ent is at an all-time high. So people would rather buy than rent. The fact that it’s an expensive rental market makes the expensive buying market more palpable for end users. For investors, it’s a great opportunity to buy because there’s always somebody who needs or wants to move to New York City for school or work, and they are willing to pay top dollar in rent to be here.”

New York City Suburbs

If you love New York City but would prefer to live in a quieter location, you may want to consider the surrounding suburban area.

“The New York City suburbs are among the most expensive ZIP codes in the country but have held their value through a recession, pandemic, and other downturns where many other markets have gone down,” said Melissa Rubenstein, Realtor-associate.

Rubenstein attributed the suburb’s popularity to two reasons.

“The first is the proximity to New York City. Despite the work-from-home trends, many people have been forced to return to work in NYC and, given the sky-high prices in New York, as well as crime and other quality-of-life issues, choose to live outside of NYC but within a commutable distance,” she said.

“The second factor is schools. The New Jersey and New York suburbs have some of the highest-rated public school systems in the country. Proximity to NYC combined with stellar public schools make the New York City suburbs an expensive but worthwhile investment for homebuyers.”

Jodi Greebel, a real estate salesperson at Compass, named two NYC suburbs you may want to check out.

“Westchester, NY, a suburb of NYC, is a great location to buy real estate even though prices continue to increase. While always a desirable location, the departure from NYC during Covid only increased that. With more buyers than inventory, year after year, prices continue to rise,” Greebel said. “Many assumed prices would go down and tried to wait out the market, only to find out that they can’t keep pace with it. In many suburbs like Scarsdale, prices have been up 25% year over year and continue on that trend.”

“While costly, this is a great investment. We see homes on the market that traded only a handful of years ago where sellers are making a tremendous return on their investment. That number is even greater for those who have owned for more than a few years,” Greebel said.

Boston

“I think Boston and the surrounding areas are still a fantastic investment. With access to hospitals, colleges, and more, people are consistently looking to move to the area,” said Nicole Vermillion, Realtor at Lamacchia Realty.

“Inventory is still historically low, causing the same buyers to compete with each other time and time again, especially [at the] first-time homebuyer price point. As a result of the low inventory and the state committing to the effort of trying to fix that problem, I think prices will continue to climb or remain steady until they start to appreciate at a more normal pace when the inventory issue balances out a bit,” Vermillion continued.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Real Estate Agent: These 9 Expensive Locations Are Still Worth Buying In