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(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Good buy: Phoenix ranked second-best metro area for homeowners

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

PHOENIX — Signing on the dotted line for a new home can be intimidating, but a study said Phoenix homeowners are getting their money’s worth.

BankRate.com lists Phoenix as the second-best metropolitan area in the United States to own a home, coming in just below Portland for the top spot in the country.

The study took eight factors into consideration: home affordability, price appreciation, property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, energy and maintenance costs, foreclosures, and the cost of renting. Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis-St. Paul rounded out the top five markets on the list.

Claes Bell, a data editor for BankRate.com, cited strong home appreciation, few foreclosures and inexpensive homeowners’ insurances as reasons for Phoenix’s high ranking.

“This is an up-and-coming city,” he said. “It’s a city with a pretty strong economy and it’s a city where people are wanting to buy homes, so you are seeing those home prices increase.”

The annual growth rate for home prices in Phoenix is almost 12 percent, according to Bell. Even with this rise, he believes the affordability in the Valley is still manageable.

“Even as home values in the area continue to increase, we’re still kind of in a sweet spot where the average income can still afford the median home there,” Bell said.

While home values in Phoenix continue to rise, the study found rental prices have not increased quite as consistently. Couple these factors, and now might be as good of time as ever to buy a home in Phoenix.

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