Study: Twin Cities one of the best metro areas to be a homeowner

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The Twin Cities metro is one of the best urban areas in the country to be a homeowner.

That's according to Bankrate.com, which studied real estate data to compile a rankings table for where homeowners have got it the best across the nation.

Minneapolis-St. Paul finishes in fifth place, thanks to strong price appreciation over the last five years, fewer foreclosures and low energy costs, Bankrate says.

The Twin Cities rounds out the top five, behind Portland, Oregon; Phoenix, Arizona; Atlanta, Georgia; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

The table was put together by looking at property taxes, affordability, insurance costs, foreclosure rates, maintenance costs, energy costs, appreciation rates and rent hedging.

The metro area scored poorly for the cost of property insurance, but its homes are more affordable than in other metro areas and those who bought in recent years have seen better-than-average appreciation in the value of their home.

Zillow estimates the average home value in Minneapolis has risen from $160,000 in 2012, as the country was starting to come out of the economic crisis, to $219,000 as of this month – an increase of just under 37 percent.

Despite the rising prices though, the consensus is that the Twin Cities is still one of the more affordable places to get a home, with a study by the University of St. Thomas last year saying this has been helped by higher-than-average household incomes.

The Bankrate rankings suggest that the so-called "flyover country" is the best place to get a good deal on homes, with only one out of the top 15 metro areas for homeowners being located within 250 miles of an ocean. That metro area is Portland, which came in first.

The worst place for homeowners is the Hartford metro area in Connecticut, which came last behind New York-Newark-Jersey City and Providence-Warwick.

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