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Report: Sioux Falls home prices are unsustainable

SIOUX FALLS — A recent report shows that rising home prices in Sioux Falls last year are likely unsustainable and could create issues for those trying to afford a home this year.

Sioux Falls and Rapid City ranked near the bottom of Nationwide's housing affordability index, which evaluates hundreds of metro areas nationwide, the Argus Leader reported. The report ranks housing markets against past performance and scores based on prices, the economy and demographics.

"If you're a homeowner right now, you're going to have a little more trouble selling a home," said Nationwide Senior Economist Ben Ayers. "You may not get as much money for a home."

The prediction might come as a surprise to anyone who has tried to buy a home in Sioux Falls in the last year or who follows the city's housing market. Sioux Falls has seen short supply in the city's inventory of homes for sale for months, particularly in affordable price ranges.

Ayers said the Sioux Falls market gives "mixed signals," which points to something being out of balance.

Nationwide determines supply and demand by looking at the unemployment rate, the number of households and the number of jobs. Sioux Falls' job growth has slowed, and while median outcome has soared since 2010, it's been outpaced by median home prices.

Sioux Falls real estate agents, home builders and mortgage brokers disagree with the prediction.

Mortgage banker Craig Markhardt said he believes housing prices could stabilize, but that he doesn't expect a big shift.

"I don't think the market is going to cool off," Markhardt said. "Our unemployment is still low, and wages are still stabilized."