The Best Places to Buy a House This Winter

If you're shopping for a home, you may be one of the lucky people for whom the stars have aligned in several cities.

While many people look for a home in warmer months, this winter could be an excellent time to buy, according to an index developed by Zillow.

Although mortgage interest rates are creeping up, for-sale listings with a price cut are more common as sellers who priced aggressively in the late summer are finding the market is softer. Rent appreciation has been slow (or even negative) across the country, according to Zillow, but is expected pick up as more potential buyers delay because of the interest-rate squeeze.

If you're looking to buy a house, here are the metro areas where it makes the most sense to buy this winter, based on Zillow's index.

Zillow based this ranking on three main factors:

The share of price cuts compared with a year ago: Markets that have an increasing share of homes with a price cut are placed higher on this list, because metros with more price cuts will offer more options for buyers.

Rent appreciation forecast: as interest rates send mortgage payments higher, rents will tick upward. Metros where rents are expected to rise over the next year are ranked higher on the index, because they offer the greatest opportunity for buyers to save money by paying a mortgage rather than continuing to pay rising rents.

Mortgage affordability: Mortgage affordability is the portion of the monthly median household income that goes toward a monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced home, assuming a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage. So, a 30% mortgage affordability means owners are spending 30% of their income on the mortgage payment.

It should be noted that Zillow uses a median home value based on their estimates, not actual median sales prices, and the two are sometimes significantly far apart.

Here are the metro areas where this winter might be a good time to buy:

1. Orlando, Fla.
1. Orlando, Fla.

1. Orlando, Fla.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 6.8%
  • Rent increase forecast for next year: 1.4%
  • Mortgage affordability: 20.2%
  • Median home value: $231,000

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Boston
2. Boston

2. Boston

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 3.9%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 3.1%
  • Mortgage affordability: 25.8%
  • Median home value: $458,000

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Seattle
3. Seattle

3. Seattle

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 11.6%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 3.3%
  • Mortgage affordability: 28.6%
  • Median home value: $486,600

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Las Vegas
4. Las Vegas

4. Las Vegas

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 9.8%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: -0.1%
  • Mortgage affordability: 22.5%
  • Median home value: $273,800

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Charlotte, N.C.
5. Charlotte, N.C.

5. Charlotte, N.C.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 4.2%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 2.9%
  • Mortgage affordability: 15.1%
  • Median home value: $199,400

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Columbus, Ohio
6. Columbus, Ohio

6. Columbus, Ohio

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 4%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.9%
  • Mortgage affordability: 14.1%
  • Median home value: $184,200

Photo: iStock

7. Portland, Ore.
7. Portland, Ore.

7. Portland, Ore.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 4.6%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 3.7%
  • Mortgage affordability: 26.1%
  • Median home value: $391,400

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Sacramento, Calif.
8. Sacramento, Calif.

8. Sacramento, Calif.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 5.3%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: -0.1%
  • Mortgage affordability: 28.8%
  • Median home value: $400,600

Photo: Shutterstock

9. Minneapolis
9. Minneapolis

9. Minneapolis

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 1.9%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.5%
  • Mortgage affordability: 16.7%
  • Median home value: $263,300

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Dallas
10. Dallas

10. Dallas

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 2.5%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.4%
  • Mortgage affordability: 16.7%
  • Median home value: $233,200

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Kansas City, Mo.
11. Kansas City, Mo.

11. Kansas City, Mo.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 2.5%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 3.2%
  • Mortgage affordability: 13.8%
  • Median home value: $185,500

Photo: Shutterstock

12. Chicago
12. Chicago

12. Chicago

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 3.2%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.2%
  • Mortgage affordability: 15.6%
  • Median home value: $222,200

Photo: Shutterstock

13. San Diego
13. San Diego

13. San Diego

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 10%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.9%
  • Mortgage affordability: 37.9%
  • Median home value: $589,200

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Cincinnati
14. Cincinnati

14. Cincinnati

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 2.4%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 4.1%
  • Mortgage affordability: 12.5%
  • Median home value: $164,500

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Tampa, Fla.
15. Tampa, Fla.

15. Tampa, Fla.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 5.9%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: -0.3%
  • Mortgage affordability: 18.7%
  • Median home value: $208,400

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Austin, Texas
16. Austin, Texas

16. Austin, Texas

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: -0.6%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.5%
  • Mortgage affordability: 19.3%
  • Median home value: $300,600

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Atlanta
17. Atlanta

17. Atlanta

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 3.2%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.7%
  • Mortgage affordability: 15.2%
  • Median home value: $209,700

Photo: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

18. Philadelphia
18. Philadelphia

18. Philadelphia

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: -1.3%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.6%
  • Mortgage affordability: 16.1%
  • Median home value: $229,300

Photo: Shutterstock

19. Washington, D.C.
19. Washington, D.C.

19. Washington, D.C.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 0.5%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.7%
  • Mortgage affordability: 19.4%
  • Median home value: $401,000

Photo: DiegoMariottini / Shutterstock

20. Miami
20. Miami

20. Miami

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 5.5%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.7%
  • Mortgage affordability: 24.9%
  • Median home value: $278,400

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Houston
21. Houston

21. Houston

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 6.8%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: -0.3%
  • Mortgage affordability: 15.1%
  • Median home value: $200,900

Photo: iStock

22. San Jose, Calif.
22. San Jose, Calif.

22. San Jose, Calif.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 8.8%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.3%
  • Mortgage affordability: 53.5%
  • Median home value: $1,288,700

Photo: Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock

23. Baltimore
23. Baltimore

23. Baltimore

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 0.6%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 1.1%
  • Mortgage affordability: 16%
  • Median home value: $265,600

Photo: iStock

24. Los Angeles
24. Los Angeles

24. Los Angeles

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 6.5%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.3%
  • Mortgage affordability: 45%
  • Median home value: $647,100

Photo: View Apart / Shutterstock

25. Denver
25. Denver

25. Denver

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: -1.1%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 3.4%
  • Mortgage affordability: 25.3%
  • Median home value: $398,400

Photo: photo-denver / Shutterstock

26. Phoenix
26. Phoenix

26. Phoenix

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 0.3%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.2%
  • Mortgage affordability: 20.2%
  • Median home value: $258,300

Photo: iStock

27. St. Louis
27. St. Louis

27. St. Louis

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 0.6%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.9%
  • Mortgage affordability: 12.6%
  • Median home value: $163,100

Photo: Shutterstock

28. Detroit
28. Detroit

28. Detroit

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 2.1%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0.3%
  • Mortgage affordability: 12.9%
  • Median home value: $157,200

Photo: iStock

29. San Francisco
29. San Francisco

29. San Francisco

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 5.4%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: 0%
  • Mortgage affordability: 44.9%
  • Median home value: $961,200

Photo: Shutterstock

30. Riverside, Calif.
30. Riverside, Calif.

30. Riverside, Calif.

  • Share of price cuts compared to a year ago: 5.9%
  • Rent rise forecast for next year: -0.5%
  • Mortgage affordability: 28.3%
  • Median home value: $362,000

Photo: Shutterstock

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