The Most Stable U.S. Housing Markets [2023 Edition]

The red-hot pandemic housing market has finally cooled in recent months. Due to actions by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation, mortgage rates have more than doubled from the historic lows seen in 2021. As a result, home sales have slowed dramatically, and prices have started to come down. However, housing markets in some parts of the country tend to be less stable and more prone to volatility than others.

Chart1_US housing prices have started to stabilize after 2-year rise

Before the recent drop, the median price of housing in the U.S. had been rising almost steadily since 2012, when prices bottomed out in the wake of the Great Recession and housing crisis of 2008. Home prices started rising more rapidly in the second half of 2020 due to a combination of factors—including increased housing demand, a limited supply of new homes, and expectations about future home prices.

In March 2022, the Federal Reserve began a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to tamp down inflation, and by summer, the median price of housing had begun to stabilize. However, high interest rates have made buying a home a more expensive undertaking, especially in cities where home prices increased the most during the last few years. As potential buyers weigh their options in this market, it is helpful to consider how different locations have fared historically during periods of volatility.

Chart2_Housing price volatility can vary dramatically by location

Housing markets in some cities are especially prone to price fluctuations. Atlantic City is one such housing market that has proven to be more volatile than others. The median price of housing in Atlantic City reached over $300,000 in 2007 before it came crashing down, hitting a low of $174,544 in 2017. Home prices then began to rebound and increased sharply over the last two years. In comparison, the Pittsburgh housing market has been much more stable. Pittsburgh home prices stayed relatively flat during the housing crisis and ensuing recession in 2008, and the increase in home prices since the pandemic has been more muted than in many other parts of the U.S.

Chart3_The states with the most stable housing markets

At the state level, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Alaska have the most stable housing markets, as measured by the probability that a buyer purchasing a home at any point between 2000 and present would have experienced a greater-than-5% price drop following the purchase. All three of these states had a 0% chance of this happening. In contrast, the probability of experiencing at least a 5% price drop between 2000 and present was 50.2% in Nevada and 49.8% in Georgia.

To determine the locations with the most stable housing markets, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed the latest data from Zillow. The researchers ranked metros according to the chance of a random buyer experiencing at least a 5% price drop, using data from 2000 to present. For each location, researchers also calculated the largest price drop from 2000 to present, the current median home price, and the percentage change in home price from 2000 to present.

Here are the U.S. metropolitan areas with the most stable housing markets.

Chart4_Small and midsize metros with the most stable housing markets

Large Metros With the Most Stable Housing Markets

Virginia Beach, VA

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15. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 24.2%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $49,198
  • Median home price (present): $334,319
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 171%
Louisville, KY

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14. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 22.7%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $12,831
  • Median home price (present): $243,782
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 116%
Raleigh, NC

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13. Raleigh-Cary, NC

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 21.2%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $30,661
  • Median home price (present): $448,553
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 156%
New Orleans, LA

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12. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 21.2%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $26,049
  • Median home price (present): $270,020
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 121%
Salt Lake City, UT

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11. Salt Lake City, UT

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 20.9%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $78,455
  • Median home price (present): $582,222
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 212%
Nashville, TN

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10. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 20.9%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $26,081
  • Median home price (present): $452,985
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 215%
Washington, DC

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9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 19.8%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $135,255
  • Median home price (present): $550,214
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 188%
Houston, TX

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8. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 19.4%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $16,123
  • Median home price (present): $314,051
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 149%
Honolulu, HI

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7. Urban Honolulu, HI

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 16.1%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $97,356
  • Median home price (present): $928,450
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 271%
Tulsa, OK

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6. Tulsa, OK

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 15.0%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $9,399
  • Median home price (present): $217,564
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 115%
San Antonio, TX

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5. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 11.0%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $15,889
  • Median home price (present): $340,353
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 160%
Austin, TX

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4. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 10.3%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $38,559
  • Median home price (present): $549,232
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 210%
Oklahoma City, OK

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3. Oklahoma City, OK

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 0.0%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $5,304
  • Median home price (present): $222,360
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 143%
Buffalo, NY

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2. Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 0.0%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $4,535
  • Median home price (present): $244,001
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 163%
Pittsburgh, PA

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1. Pittsburgh, PA

  • Chance of experiencing a 5% price drop (2000–present): 0.0%
  • Largest price drop (2000–present): $3,892
  • Median home price (present): $209,084
  • Percentage change in home price (2000–present): 136%

Detailed Findings & Methodology

To determine the U.S. metropolitan areas with the most stable housing markets, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed the latest data from Zillows’ Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), a measure of typical home value. The researchers ranked metros according to the probability that a random buyer purchasing a home at any point between 2000 and present would have experienced a greater-than-5% price drop following the purchase. In the event of a tie, the metro with the largest price drop from 2000 to present was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the current median home price—using the most recent ZHVI—and the percentage change in home price from 2000 to present. Metros missing three or more consecutive months of ZHVI data were excluded from the analysis. For metros missing one or two consecutive months of data, missing values were imputed using an average of the ZHVI for the months immediately before and after.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size: 

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: more than 1,000,000

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Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones is a senior researcher and data journalist for Construction Coverage. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and has degrees in philosophy and political science from UCLA.

When Jon is not researching real estate and public policy, he likes to fix up old cars and work on home improvement projects.