Metro Phoenix Housing Market: From Worst to Almost First Article originally posted on AZ Central on September 18, 2016 The data proves we’ve risen from the depths of the housing crisis and deserve this national ranking (look out Portland, Ore.). Phoenix has gone from being one of the worst housing markets to one of the best in less than a decade, according to a new ranking. The Valley landed at No. 2 on Bankrate.com’s list of the top U.S. cities for homeowners. That puts us behind only Portland, Ore., on the consumer-finance firm’s rating. I love great news for metro Phoenix’s housing market. But is this just another housing list based on random research? Or is it a real indicator metro Phoenix’s housing market has bounced back from the bust faster than many other U.S. cities? Bankrate used several indicators including appreciation, property tax costs and foreclosure rates to compare housing markets. Metro Phoenix has had higher than average increases in home values and has some of the lowest property taxes in the county. Phoenix’s low foreclosure rate also propelled it toward the top of the list, according to Bankrate. Only six years ago, high foreclosures and negative appreciation garnered us the not-so-nice label “boomtown gone bust.” A deeper look at the study shows Bankrate tapped credible sources, including ATTOM Data Solutions, the Council for Community and Economic Research, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to rate cities from 1 to 10 in several categories. The higher the score, the higher the ranking. Here’s most of metro Phoenix’s scorecard followed by my gut-check reaction for the category: Affordability: 8. The Valley is the eighth-most-affordable big U.S. metro area to buy a home, according to national mortgage firm HSH.com. Property insurance: 8.99. Thanks to few catastrophic storms and big natural disasters, Arizona has the third-lowest average homeowners insurance premium in the U.S., according to the Insurance Commissioners. Property taxes: 8.38. Arizona has one of the most convoluted systems to tax homeowners in the U.S. But the state is one of the least expensive places for property taxes, according to several rankings. Energy: 5.32. Here’s where metro Phoenix take a fair hit due to its triple-digit temperatures pushing up AC bills. Appreciation: 9.51. Home prices have doubled in the Valley since the area’s housing market hit bottom in 2011. Foreclosures: 9.46. Valley homes taken back by lenders are back to low pre-bust levels, not seen since 2006. So I think it’s fair to say we are No. 2. And that rhymes with … Woo hoo!