GOBankingRates

25 Promising Housing Markets for Homebuyers

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Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

You’re in the market for a new hometown, but you’re not willing to move just anywhere. The next place you put down roots needs to be not just affordable, but also a great place to live, with plenty of job opportunities.

When relocating, housing costs are a major concern, as you don’t want your mortgage payment to consume the bulk of your paycheck. This can be tricky, as home values have soared 19.6% to an average of $320,662, as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to Zillow. They’re expected to rise another 16.4% this year, further increasing the importance of choosing an affordable area.

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Of course, you also want to live in a safe city that has the amenities you need to be happy. This might involve highly-rated public schools for your kids, lots of parks or a plethora of public transit options.

While it might seem like these cities don’t exist, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of amazing spots around the country with housing markets that haven’t yet been saturated.

Thankfully, there’s still time to make your move to these cities before they’re discovered by the masses — and become largely unaffordable. If you’re planning to make a move this year, it’s important to conduct plenty of research to find your perfect fit.

To get you started, GOBankingRates compiled a list of 25 housing markets that look promising. Keep reading to learn more about these vibrant cities, to see if there’s one you’d like to call home.

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25. Pittsburgh

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 3.5%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $225,000
  • Population Growth: 0.9%
  • Job Growth: 2.5%
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 74
  • Area Trivia: Pittsburgh is home to 446 bridges, used to cross the three rivers that converge in the city center — the Allegheny, Monongahela and the Ohio rivers.

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24. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.3%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $235,000
  • Population Growth: 10.9%
  • Job Growth: 2.5%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 66
  • Area Trivia: Cone Health Care is Greensboro’s largest private employer, with more than 7,000 employees.
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23. El Paso, Texas

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.1%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $221,000
  • Population Growth: 4.6%
  • Job Growth: 2.5%
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 74
  • Area Trivia: The Sun Bowl, the country’s second oldest college football game — after the Rose Bowl — is hosted in El Paso and has been played since 1935.
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22. Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 7.1%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $229,900
  • Population Growth: 5.8%
  • Job Growth: 3.4%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 67
  • Area Trivia: The area in and around Grand Rapids has been inhabited for over 2,000 years by the famous prehistorical Hopewell Mounds — now replaced by reconstructions — along the Grand River.

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21. Cincinnati

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.4%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $219,900
  • Population Growth: 4.2%
  • Job Growth: 3.6%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 68
  • Area Trivia: Launched in 1976, the city is home to “Zinzinnati,” America’s largest Oktoberfest, with more than 575,000 attendees annually.
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20. Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 2.7%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $319,000
  • Population Growth: 4.9%
  • Job Growth: 0.7%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 79
  • Area Trivia: Virginia Beach holds the Guinness record for largest pleasure beach.
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19. Dallas

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 4.0%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $415,300
  • Population Growth: 8.9%
  • Job Growth: 5.6%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 69
  • Area Trivia: Dallas is the largest landlocked city in the U.S.

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18. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.6%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $369,900
  • Population Growth: 19.6%
  • Job Growth: 2.8%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 66
  • Area Trivia: Charlotte is the second-largest banking center in the U.S., behind only NYC.
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17. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.2%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $420,000
  • Population Growth: 15%
  • Job Growth: 4.8%
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 70
  • Area Trivia: Seriously bike-friendly, Colorado Springs has more than 90 miles of on-street bike lanes, 118 miles of urban bike trails and 61 miles of unpaved bike trails. All city buses are equipped with bike racks and the city even has a Bicycle Plan, funded by a Bicycle Tax.

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16. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.6%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $409,900
  • Population Growth: 14.7%
  • Job Growth: 4.1%
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 66
  • Area Trivia: Ideal for musicians, Nashville has more music industry workers per capita than any other place in the world.
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15. McAllen, Texas

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.1%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $245,000
  • Population Growth: 9.5%
  • Job Growth: 5.6%
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 81
  • Area Trivia: A the largest birding hotspot in North America, McAllen is home to 540 bird species and more than 330 butterfly species have been recorded in the area.
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14. Columbus, Ohio

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 6.3%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $224,900
  • Population Growth: 15.1%
  • Job Growth: 1.9%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 73
  • Area Trivia: Known as “America’s Equal Opportunity City,” the mayor of Columbus maintains a diversity and inclusion office to ensure all city residents are supported.
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13. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 6.5%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $271,000
  • Population Growth: 15.6%
  • Job Growth: 4.6%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 69
  • Area Trivia: A local favorite since 1938, the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market is open daily and spans more than nine acres.

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12. Spokane, Washington

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 7.7%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $393,600
  • Population Growth: 9.6%
  • Job Growth: 7.1%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 67
  • Area Trivia: Known as “The Lilac City,” Spokane earned its nickname due to its abundance of these pretty purple flowers.
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11. Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 4.3%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $373,000
  • Population Growth: 15.8%
  • Job Growth: 4.1%
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 74
  • Area Trivia: Raleigh is often referred to as the “Smithsonian of the South,” because it’s home to three major state museums — featuring art, history and natural sciences — that welcome visitors at no cost.

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10. Seattle

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 7.5%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $740,000
  • Population Growth: 21.1%
  • Job Growth: 5.4%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 65
  • Area Trivia: It’s known as a rainy city, but in reality, Seattle only gets an average of 38 inches per year, which is about the national average.
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9. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 4.9%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $229,900
  • Population Growth: 18.9%
  • Job Growth: 2.7%
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.5%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 72
  • Area Trivia: Omaha is home to the College World Series, an annual event that attracts fans of both college and professional baseball.

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8. Atlanta

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 3.5%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $389,900
  • Population Growth: 18.7%
  • Job Growth: 5.1%
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 72
  • Area Trivia: After holding the title since 2000, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport slipped from its spot as the world’s busiest airport to second place on the list.
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7. Tampa, Florida

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 6.8%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $357,000
  • Population Growth: 14.7%
  • Job Growth: 5.3%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 74
  • Area Trivia: Beginning in January, Tampa celebrates Gasparilla season each year, consisting of two-months of pirate-themed parades, festivals and events.
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6. Durham, North Carolina

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 4.2%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $355,000
  • Population Growth: 24.2%
  • Job Growth: 5.3%
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 70
  • Area Trivia: Covering 7,000 acres, Durham’s Research Triangle Park is the largest research park in the U.S. It’s home to more than 300 companies, including science and technology firms, government agencies, academic institutions, startups and nonprofits.
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5. Lakeland, Florida

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 7.0%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $311,800
  • Population Growth: 15.6%
  • Job Growth: 3.9%
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 82
  • Area Trivia: The largest onsite collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world is located in Lakeland.

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4. Boise, Idaho

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 7.9%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $538,800
  • Population Growth: 14.6%
  • Job Growth: 2.1%
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.9%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 87
  • Area Trivia: There’s no need to worry about population overgrowth in Idaho, as 66% of land in the state is federally owned.
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3. Orlando, Florida

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 5.4%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $335,000
  • Population Growth: 29.1%
  • Job Growth: 7.7%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 69
  • Area Trivia: It’s probably not too surprising, but Orlando is nicknamed the “Theme Park Capital of the World.”
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2. Palm Bay, Florida

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 7.9%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $300,000
  • Population Growth: 16.1%
  • Job Growth: 5.3%
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Area Vibes Rating: 79
  • Area Trivia: The best place in town to catch a stunning sunset are the areas around Emerson Road and Heritage Parkway.
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1. Greenville, South Carolina

  • Housing Market Price Growth: 17.1%
  • Median Listing Home Price: $299,900
  • Population Growth: 21.1%
  • Job Growth: 3%
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
  • Area Vibes Rating: Home to Red Sox affiliate the Greenville Drive, their home stadium, Fluor Field is a smaller version of Fenway Park — even featuring a big green wall in the outfield.

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Methodology: In order to find 25 promising housing markets, GOBankingRates looked at the top 50 cities cited in Realtor.com’s Top Housing Markets 2022 report. Once these 50 cities were identified, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors within each metropolitan area: (1) year-over-year housing market price growth and median home listing price as sourced from Realtor.com; (2) an overall livability score out of 100 sourced from AreaVibes; (3) population growth 2010-2019 sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau; and (4) job growth and unemployment rate, both sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The above factors were then scored, combined and ranked, with the top 25 scorers given final placements. All data was collected on and up to date as of Jan. 26, 2022.