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What Are the Top Housing Markets to Live In 2022

By Jamie Richardson | July 26, 2022

Research shows that the U.S. housing markets are cooling, with more than 25% of sellers slashing their prices this year. Rising interest rates are the main driver behind this downturn. 

Despite this, some housing markets remain as hot as ever, with home buyers clamoring for real estate in these growing cities.

California has vanished from most lists of places to invest in real estate, while the easterly sunbelt states continue to draw the crowds.

Keep reading to discover more about the hottest housing markets in the USA right now.

The Hottest Housing Markets in the USA 

Increasing prices are only one factor that determines whether a market is hot or not. In the best property markets, home values exceed national averages and expectations, too.

Together with rising prices, the hottest real estate markets stand out for rapid population growth and promising employment opportunities. It's easy to see how these factors work together to create favorable conditions for property investment. 

If you're looking for a change of scenery or exciting career prospects, these up-and-coming real estate markets are the best places for buying a home in 2022:

Austin Metro Area, Texas 

Austin holds pride of place in the Texas Hill Country region, surrounded by lovely watercourses, including the Colorado River. It's the capital of Texas and the 11th most populated city in the United States. 

People flock here to enjoy a diverse culture, subtropical climate, and exciting employment options.

It's a hotspot for the biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industry. Several high-tech companies have their headquarters in Austin, including Amazon, Apple, and PayPal.

In June 2022, the average home price increased by 13% in the Austin Metro, making this one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the country.

Rents in Austin vary widely depending on where you choose to live, with the average tenant paying $2,285 per month. In cheaper areas, rents are lower at $1,595 or less, while affluent neighborhoods command over $5,000 monthly.

Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina's capital city offers a high quality of life, rich cultural history, and an outstanding food scene. There are many work opportunities available and rapid population growth. It's a hub of internationally-acclaimed life science and technology institutions.  

Major employers in Raleigh include PRA Health Sciences, IBM, Siemens, and Red Hat. The city boasts a low unemployment rate of approximately 3%.

If you're shopping for a home in Raleigh, you can expect to pay an average of $218 per square foot, an increase of over 50% in the last five years. The average rental in Raleigh is $1,920.

Nashville Metro, Tennessee 

Music City draws the crowds thanks to its rich history, vibrant performing arts scene, and diverse economy. It's nestled in the lovely Tennessee Valley which abounds with walks, trails, and scenic spots.

The unemployment rate in Nashville is a low 2.4%, and the city has abundant jobs available in the manufacturing, transportation, education, healthcare, and finance sectors. 

Major employers include:

  • HCA Healthcare
  • Nissan North America
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Dell Technologies 

When compared to other centers, Nashville is an affordable city, with relatively low housing costs, moderate property taxes, and no state income tax. Houses sell for an average price of $271 per square foot.

Jacksonville, Florida

This northeastern Florida city lies on the banks of the St. John's River, offering easy access to the state's glorious beaches. It's a top choice for homeowners who want to enjoy a suburban lifestyle, pleasant weather, and an affordable cost of living.

Jacksonville offers a high quality of life and an exceptionally business-friendly government. The city stands out as the logistics center of America and is a globally recognized banking and finance hub.

Major employers in Jacksonville include CSX Corporation, Fidelity National Information Services, and Southeastern Grocers.

Homes in Jacksonville sell for an average of $188 per square foot, a 30% increase from last year. 

Durham, North Carolina

Another North Carolina Gem, Durham, is a hive of activity for outdoor adventurers and culture buffs alike.

The city has a low employment rate of under 3% and is home to growing agricultural biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing industries. 

Employers in Durham post thousands of new job openings in Durham every week, particularly in the construction industry. What's more, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are expanding their business in Durham, adding even more jobs to the fray.

The average price for a single-family home in Durham is around $426,000, up 21.5% compared to last year. Rents average around $1,650.

San Antonio, Texas

Forecasters predict that San Antonio will outperform all other Texas housing markets in 2022. With an average price of $388,000 for a single-family home, the NAR believes San Antonio is one of the most undervalued housing markets in the country.

San Antonio is about an hour's drive from both Houston and Dallas, thanks to its South Central location. San Antonio's economy hinges on the military, manufacturing, financial, health care, oil, and gas sectors.

There's plenty of work to go around with major employers like GE Oil and Gas, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Southwest Research Institute, Standard Aero, and more. 

Due to this, San Antonio is a popular choice among millennial first-time homebuyers and renters. Rents in this area average between $975 and $1,545. 

Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona is a beautiful state with dramatic scenery and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, and Phoenix is a good place to make the most of these assets.

The city is also a hub of arts and culture, with a healthy economy and mild winters. Yet, the biggest draw card in Phoenix is affordability and a wealth of major employers.

With this in mind, it's not surprising that Phoenix has the fastest growing home prices in the USA.  Prices are up 57% in the last two years to reach a current average of $439,225, and rentals are in the region of $2,175 for a three-bedroom home.

These include the State of Arizona, Walmart Stores Inc, the City of Phoenix, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Arizona State University.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is one of the hottest markets for property investors in the USA, with the majority of households preferring to rent instead of own a home. 

Homes in this city sell for an average of $410,000, with rental costs ranging between $875 and $5,000 per month. Rents have grown by over 25% in the last three months.

Atlanta's tree-lined neighborhoods, interesting culture, and excellent walkability add to the appeal of a strong economy and promising job market in the city.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is just 2.4% with good gains evident in the realms of science, health care, construction, and technology. Major employers include:

  • Delta Air Lines
  • The Home Depot
  • Piedmont Healthcare
  • UPS
  • AT&T

Orlando, Florida

There's more to Orlando than theme parks and sunny weather. The city is also home to a growing industrial and tech sector, an excellent, diverse economy, and a booming population.

It's also a major tourist center, attracting 59 million visitors in 2021.

Several large companies have their base in Orlando, including:

  • Lockheed Martin
  • Mitsubishi Power Systems
  • Boeing
  • United States Army Research
  • Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  • The Walt Disney Company

House prices in Orlando have increased by 19% since last year, with a current median price of $375,000. You can expect to pay approximately $3,829 rent per month in Orlando's upmarket neighborhoods, or $1,200 in cheaper rental markets.

Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolina's most populous city continues to grow thanks to its diverse economy and good quality of life. Charlotte is a major recreational center and home to NASCAR, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, the NBA Charlotte Hornets, and the NFL Carolina Panthers.

Along with nearby Raleigh, the city has plenty of job opportunities available, particularly in the banking, finance, and manufacturing industries. Major employers include:

  • Coca-Cola Bottling co
  • Compass Group USA
  • Dixon Hughes Goodman
  • Albemarle Corporation

You can expect to pay around $401,700 for a single-family home in Charlotte, and rents average at around $975 in cheaper areas. In upmarket neighborhoods, renters pay between $3,900 and $5,290 per month.

Tampa, Florida

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area is among the country's hottest property markets for 2022. The area has undergone tremendous job growth in the last year, adding over 84,000 jobs since the beginning of 2021.

Tampa's major employers include:

  • BayCare Health Care Systems
  • Publix Super Markets Inc.
  • TECO Energy Inc.
  • Times Publishing Co.
  • Verizon Communications

Beach access, glorious weather, and plenty of things to do are major attractions in Tampa, and the absence of state income tax only adds to its appeal. 

Homes in Tampa currently sell for an average of $405,300 and rents are in the region of $2,300 per month. 

Discover the Best Housing Markets for Your Needs

Real estate investors, families, and job seekers alike can benefit from these hot markets, but they're not ideal for everyone. 

Cheaper prices and a quieter lifestyle are often trademarks of less popular neighborhoods. 

So, if you're not keen on the big city bustle, or want to invest in a less competitive market, you'll find plenty of options to suit you. Browse our blog for more news about the best housing markets in America and what makes them so special. 

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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