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The housing market has gone through quite the transition this year for both first-time home buyers, as well as move-up buyers looking to get the most from their existing home sales.

Housing inventory shortages across the nation are driving up home prices, as demand can't keep up with supply. Meanwhile, interest rates have finally started to increase, though not as dramatically as was once thought. These shifts have put a damper on rate-driven refinancing, but opened up new opportunities for cash-out refis.

And while lenders are loosening their underwriting standards and making it easier for borrowers to qualify for mortgages, it's getting much more expensive to buy a home.

Nationally, the median sales price for existing homes was $258,300 in July, up 6.2% year-over-year, according to the National Association of Realtors. For new homes, the July median sales price was $319,900, up 7.6% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

With the 2017 home buying season winding down, here's a look at 12 cities where the median home sales price is below $215,000, but the combination of home prices, local wages and other market forces is making home purchasing power disappear in these once-cheapest places to live.

The data, from the First American Real House Price Index, measures home price changes, taking local wages and mortgage rates into account "to better reflect consumers' purchasing power and capture the true cost of housing." The July 2017 data is ranked by RHPI value, where a reading of 100 is equal to conditions in January 2000.


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