Buying a new home is an amazing feeling, but choosing the location is a big decision. Whether it’s your first step on the property ladder, a holiday bolthole by the seaside, or time to upsize, one factor most of us will consider is “where will purchasing a home bring me the most happiness?” According to research, Chandler is one of the happiest cities for homebuyers in the United States, but Phoenix is one of the unhappiest cities in the world for  homebuyers.

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In a quest to help answer the question, “where will purchasing a home bring me the most happiness?” we turned to social media to analyze the happiness levels of locals, tourists, and recent homebuyers in various locations around the world.

How we measured the happiness of people in each location

We began our study by sorting through hundreds of thousands of geotagged Instagram posts from all over the world to find out how the happiness levels of the average Instagram user compared to those who have recently purchased a home.

We collected two sets of photos: one was found using the hashtag #selfie, and the other set of photos featured hashtags related to having recently purchased a home, for example #newhomeowner.

We then used an AI facial recognition tool to discover the most dominant emotions displayed in the faces in every photo.

The most popular emotions on Instagram

From our analysis, recent homebuyers are considerably happier than the average Instagram user who posts a selfie. In just over a third (35%) of the #selfies we found, the AI tool found that happiness was the dominant emotion of the faces on show. In comparison, happiness was the dominant emotion in a staggering 83% of the photos we found of recent homebuyers.

Emotionally neutral faces were more commonly found in the general selfies category, and negative emotions (like sadness or anger) were present in just 1% of the photos from each category.

The happiest cities in the U.S. to buy a home

We also looked across the United States to find out where the happiest new homebuyers live in the US. We scanned hundreds of thousands of photos featuring hashtags related to a new home purchase with an AI facial recognition tool.

Louisville, Kentucky is the happiest city in the US to buy a home, according to the Instagram posts in our analysis. Photos there tagged with new homeowner-related hashtags scored an average 88.7 out of 100 on our happiness scale, which is 6.5% over the average US happiness level of homebuyers.

The happiest cities for homebuyers in the U.S.

Atlanta, Georgia is the least happy city in the US in which to buy a house. The average happiness score of the new homebuyer photos geotagged there on Instagram is 70 out of 100. That’s 15.9% lower than the average US happiness level of homebuyers.

The least happy cities in the world to buy a home

Some of the photos in our worldwide search were much less happy. The least happy city to buy a home according to our Instagram analysis is Mumbai, India, with an average happiness score of 68.4 out of 100. That’s 17.1% lower than the global homebuyer average.