5 Surprising Cities Set To Become Boomtowns in 2022

Downtown Sacramento.
Manny Chavez / Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we look forward to the year ahead, many of the trends we have seen throughout the pandemic persist: rising prices, low interest rates and an urban exodus. These are just some of the major themes that have defined the period spanning almost two years now.

See: The 7 Most Stressful US Cities for Homebuyers
Related: Here’s How Much You Need To Earn To Be ‘Rich’ in Every State

Of course, the biggest reasons for people leaving larger cities are rising prices combined with the remote work boom. Many companies have moved to either a fully remote or a hybrid working arrangement, allowing some of their employees to do all of their work from anywhere.

This trend has moved so quickly that some cities where people previously moved to escape high costs — such as Austin and Denver — are already becoming unaffordable. So, people are looking even farther out or considering entirely new cities, such as these five that could see rapid rates of growth and become boomtowns in 2022.

Sacramento, California

Despite being California’s state capital, Sacramento has often been overlooked in favor of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. However, with real estate still unaffordable in nearby San Fran, the city is starting to gain traction. “Sacramento will continue to see home values rise in 2022, by most estimates at least 7%,” says Michael D. Rehm, California real estate salesperson.

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“With the Bay Area becoming more and more unaffordable for even millionaires, the influx of buyers from the Bay will keep the Sacramento housing market strong for many years to come, not to mention the high quality of life in the Sacramento metro region in general.”

San Marcos, Texas

As mentioned above, Austin is already becoming unaffordable for many people. This has people looking into homes in San Marcos, roughly at the midway point between Austin and San Antonio. “Areas like San Marcos, which is only thirty miles outside of the city, are a great investment for real estate,” says Daniel Osman, head of sales at Balance Homes.

“Costs of living are low, an Austin commute isn’t far, and there’s a stable influx of potential renters with Texas State University just down the road,” he adds.

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Lebanon, Pennsylvania is actually among one of three towns in Pennsylvania’s Lebanon Valley set to experience a boom, says Kerry Sherin, consumer advocate at Ownerly. The other two are York-Hanover and Lancaster. After all, they fall in line with the trend of people looking for more affordable areas that still have good amenities.

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“Forming a triangle south and east of Harrisburg, these cities all feature a cost of living 2% to 5% below the United States average, plus abundant free Wi-Fi, a good selection of broadband providers and median home values under $230,000 (versus a national median of $264,200),” Sherin says.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Winston-Salem is part of an up-and-coming section of North Carolina referred to as the Carolina Core. Symeria Palmer, account manager at Development Counsellors International, says this area is drawing a lot of attention from potential buyers. “In the Core, businesses and people can access North Carolina’s fast-growing metros, each embracing its own distinct personality offering an affordable place to live with a myriad of lifestyle activities catering to the under-40 community,” Palmer says.

“The Carolina Core has a talent pool of more than 2 million people, access to 30+ colleges and universities, and multiple airports.”

Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck is another state capital that hasn’t always been paid much attention, but that is changing as people look to new metropolitan areas. GOBankingRates noted Bismarck as one of the Best Cities for Boomers to Find Work thanks to its successful healthcare economy, and recognized Bismarck as a Boomtown Where Paychecks are Getting Bigger — recording a 14.9% increase in housing units between 2012 and 2017.

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About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in topics such as investing, banking and credit cards. He left his day job in 2019 to pursue his passion for helping people get out of debt and build wealth. You can find his work at outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes Advisor and SoFi.

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