Boulder and Fort Collins sit side-by-side  as best housing markets for growth and stability.

Boulder and Fort Collins sit side-by-side as best housing markets for growth and stability.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Despite a challenging marketplace for homebuyers – think high mortgage rates, low inventory in some areas, and declining home prices in some cities – Boulder and Fort Collins rank in the top five housing markets for growth and stability, according to the 2023 SmartAsset report. 

These two cities sit side-by-side in the rankings, with Boulder claiming the No. 3 position and Fort Collins at No. 4. Between 1998 and 2022, Boulder’s home prices grew more than 256% — 33rd out of the 400 metro areas. Fort Collins home prices rose 224% over the same period, in the top 20th percentile for growth. Nationwide, home prices increased an average of 154% for the 25 years, compared to an 80% cumulative inflation rate over the same period, reports SmartAsset. 

To determine the best and worst housing markets for growth and stability, SmartAsset compared home value data from the Federal Housing Administration for 400 metropolitan areas between 1998 and 2022. Analysts calculated cumulative increases and the frequency of significant drops in value.

Key findings of the report show Texas dominated the 20 list for the best housing markets for growth and stability – including the No. 1 ranked Austin, with home prices rising 354% over the period studied. Six Texas metros rank among the top 10 markets for growth and stability, including Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Midland, Odessa, Dallas-Plano-Irving, San Antonio-New Braunfels and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land.  

Western cities showed well, too, with Boulder and Fort Collins topping the western metros and Kennewick-Richland, Washington; Billings, Montana; and Cheyenne, Wyoming, hitting the top 20.

In many instances, population growth accompanied home price increases, as happened for the Austin metro and Kennewick-Richland, Washington. Here are the top 10 metro areas with the best housing markets for growth and stability.

1. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas
Along with the Austin area’s significant home price increase of 354%, the population nearly doubled in the last 20 years. Large tech companies Apple, Amazon and Tesla claim some responsibility for the influx of residents who support the local economy and drive housing demand. 

2. Midland, Texas
A West Texas metro, Midland’s home prices increased 255%, more than 91% of the metro areas studied. The economy is bolstered by oil and gas reserves, including the recent discovery of one of the largest U.S. oil reserves.

3. Boulder, Colorado
While Boulder’s population hasn’t had the same spike as Austin, its economy is supported by giants like Google and IBM, a long-standing reputation as a haven for startups, and the attraction of the University of Colorado’s flagship campus. Even without population growth, Boulder ranks third-best for housing market growth and stability, with a 256% rise in home prices between 1998 and 2022

4. Fort Collins, Colorado
Located about an hour’s drive north of Denver, Fort Collins hosts a college campus, Colorado State University. Average home prices grew 224% between 1998 and 2022, which puts Fort Collins in the top 20th percentile for growth. 

5. Kennewick-Richland, Washington
Southeastern Washington’s Kennewick-Richland population grew approximately 40% over the 25 years studied, increasing home prices by 211%. 

The remaining cities and their corresponding home price increase are:

6. Rapid City, South Dakota – 208%
7. Odessa, Texas – 226%
8. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas– 213%
9. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas – 204%
10. Houston-The Woodlands- Sugar Land, Texas – 203% home price increase

Read the full report at:

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder. He has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate.
For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit