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10 Best Real Estate Markets In 2022

Miranda Crace7-minute read

July 05, 2022

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Whether buying a primary residence or a real estate investment property, 2022 could be the year to resume your housing search. With the end of the pandemic on the horizon, price surges and inventory shortages should begin to stabilize this year. Coupled with the dramatic increase of permanent remote work opportunities, new locations are primed to be named the next attractive real estate markets in post-COVID America as zoom towns continue to rise in popularity.

Now that we know many areas of the workforce can be successful remotely, residents may want to plant roots in places where their money goes further. Why pay city prices when you no longer need to live in the city to commute to work? Industry analysts are predicting that the housing markets in the Sun Belt will be the most competitive in 2022. This includes Tampa, Jacksonville, Raleigh, San Antonio and Charlotte.

In addition to the locations listed above, look for other metro areas to boom in 2022 due to an increase in desire to move and work remotely from anywhere.

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What Makes An Area The ‘Best’ Real Estate Market?

Below is a list of cities that are the best real estate markets in 2022, for both home buyers and investors. The cities below are making headlines as being “hot” markets because the rise in home values outperformed both national averages and analyst expectations last year. Rapidly rising home values mean that if you buy (or invest) in one of these areas, your property value and subsequent home equity should rise too as the city’s population continues to grow.

But that isn’t all; while “best” is a subjective term, for us at Rocket Mortgage® a great place to buy a home needs to have three things: affordability, job opportunities and fun things to do. (Great weather doesn’t hurt, either!) The cities below aren’t ranked, but they do fulfill all three requirements.

And while current market trends are heavily impacted by the effects of COVID-19, these cities are still some of the best places to invest in real estate due to steady economic and population growth. The data in this article was pulled from Rocket Homes℠ trend reports.

Best Real Estate Markets In The U.S.

1. Austin, Texas (Metro Area)

  • Median sold price: $571,481
  • Average sale time: 11 days
  • Home value increase since 2021:5%

While Austin certainly isn’t as cosmopolitan as New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles, it does have all of the “big city” amenities any buyer could want plus warm weather to boot. Austin is also becoming a Southern hub for large tech companies such as Oracle, Google and Tesla. As of this year, Austin now ranks as the best performing major job market since the beginning of the pandemic.

Analysts predict Austin will continue to be a top market in 2022 and beyond based on population growth alone. Austin, Texas is still experiencing record expansion, with the Austin Housing and Planning Department expecting the metro area to grow by 2% year over year until 2050.

2. Tampa, Florida

  • Median sold price: $364,808
  • Average sale time: 13 days
  • Home value increase since 2021:2%

Pretty much any city in Florida is a good bet if you want to achieve homeownership (Orlando and Jacksonville are also experiencing strong market activity in 2022), but Tampa is at the top of our list due to the amount of job growth achieved last year. The Tampa Bay area has added over 84,000 new jobs since the beginning of 2021, which fuels the large demand for housing.

The Tampa Bay area also boasts close proximity to the beach and year-round warm weather (with temperatures in the 60s and 70s even throughout the winter). There are many tourist attractions like Busch Gardens, a zoo, an aquarium and the Tampa Riverwalk.

Florida also has zero state income tax, which means residents get to keep more of their hard-earned money each year.

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Median sold price: $371,682
  • Average sale time: 5 days
  • Home value increase since 2021:2%

Nearly 1.4 million people call the “Triangle” area home, with population growth still expected to rise in the next 15 years. Because of attractive, high-paying jobs in tech, science and research, Raleigh-Durham is a very attractive market for investors who want to tackle the high-end rental market.

For those who don’t want to miss out on big city amenities and things to do, Raleigh is a cultural hub of the state of North Carolina, with an arts, science, history and children’s museum. Nature lovers can access the William B. Umstead State Park and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from the Raleigh metro area as well.

4. Nashville, Tennessee (Metro Area)

  • Median sold price: $460,232
  • Average sale time: 8 days
  • Home value increase since 2021: 2%

Nashville has ranked in the top 10 metro areas for jobs and economic growth over the last few years. It is best known for having jobs in a diverse array of industries from healthcare to music and tourism to manufacturing. Nashville is currently named the second strongest job market in the nation right behind Austin, Texas.

In addition to job opportunities, Nashville is known for its great restaurants, entertainment, music scene and nightlife. Nashville is also one of the fastest-growing areas for young professionals, not to mention the cost of living is more affordable due to Tennessee not having any state income tax.

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5. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Median sold price: $354,884
  • Average sale time: 10 days
  • Home value increase since 2021: 18.9%

Charlotte continues to be one of the top places to live in North Carolina with access to mountains and beaches alike. The cost of living in Charlotte is 5% lower than the national average leaving room for outdoor lovers to experience this beautiful state in all its glory.

Charlotte is also experiencing job growth with a 45.2% increase expected over the next 10 years. Top companies headquartered in Charlotte includes Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Amazon, LendingTree and more.

6. San Antonio, Texas

  • Median sold price: $286,444
  • Average sale time: 30 days

While San Antonio is still a seller’s market, home’s are on the market longer than other popular Texas cities (like Austin). If you’re looking to become a homeowner in one of the best places to live in Texas, now is the time.

San Antonio offers plenty of fun activities and history to enjoy. San Antonio is rich in Spanish and Old West heritage as it is most famously known as the home of the Alamo. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, residents can expect consistent great weather.

According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, San Antonio is the nation’s eighth fastest-growing metro. The state is also experiencing an increase in six-figure jobs in the San Antonio – New Braunfels metro region.  

 7. Phoenix, Arizona

  • Median sold price: $409,925
  • Average sale time: 23 days
  • Home value increase since 2021: 26%

Phoenix home values have increased an astonishing amount over the last year – close to 30%. This increase is largely due to demand from a sudden influx of home buyers: remote workers and retirees who want more space for the money. While home prices are slightly above the national average, data from Payscale shows the cost of living in Phoenix is 5% below average, meaning your dollars will go further.

A six-figure home price jump is enough to put Phoenix on the list of “hottest” real estate markets, but the largest town in Arizona has a lot to offer residents. With increasing tech jobs (Amazon, Uber, Shutterfly and Yelp have offices in Phoenix), over 200 golf courses, along with restaurants and nightlife, it’s easy to see why many move to Phoenix.

8. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Median sold price: $270,023
  • Time on market: 28 days
  • Home value increase since 2021: 20%

Jacksonville, Florida may not ring any bells when you think of a “major metro area,” but Jacksonville is actually one of the fastest-growing economic areas in the country, with over one million residents in the metro area. Jacksonville’s growth is attributed to its strong job growth, as employment opportunities continue to steadily increase month over month.

Jacksonville is also incredibly affordable with the current Jacksonville cost of living at 5% below the national average, and the median list price of properties well below national averages. In this area, the average price per square foot on a three-bedroom, two-bath single family home is a comfy $182 per square foot.

9. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Median sold price: $378,012
  • Average sale time: 21 days
  • Home value increase since 2021: 14.5%

As the economic and cultural hub of Georgia, Atlanta continues to grow year after year, bringing more and more people to the city. With Atlanta’s cost of living just 1% lower than the national average, residents will have plenty of job opportunities in a variety of sectors (financial, real estate, medical, etc.). Not to mention, several Fortune 500 companies call this city home, including The Coca Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines and more.

10. Orlando, Florida

  • Median sold price: $299,461
  • Average sale time: 14 days
  • Home value increase since 2021: 1%

With the cost of living in Orlando 5% lower than the national average, this city continues to rank as one of the best places to live in Florida. Orlando is also one of the top vacation spots in the U.S. with temperatures rarely falling under 60 degrees. Residents of this city also don’t have to pay personal income tax or sales income tax, which can save people a lot of money year after year.

While Orlando is known for its amusement parks, finding your own pocket of sunshine isn’t hard to come by with over 100 lakes less than an hour away (not to mention spacious golf courses and shopping centers).

The Bottom Line: Home Buying In Some Of The Hottest Real Estate Markets

Industry analysts dopredict that higher loan rates will deter homeowners from participating in a mortgage refinance but we’ll still see an increase in home-buying activity overall. Because of this, first-time buyers especially need to educate themselves on the nuances of how to buy a home in a hot, competitive market.

One of the first (and easiest!) steps to start working toward homeownership is to apply for a mortgage. This can help you get an agent ASAP and move quickly when you find the house of your dreams. Get preapproved now to start.

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Miranda Crace

The Rocket Mortgage Learning Center is dedicated to bringing you articles on home buying, loan types, mortgage basics and refinancing. We also offer calculators to determine home affordability, home equity, monthly mortgage payments and the benefit of refinancing. No matter where you are in the home buying and financing process, Rocket Mortgage has the articles and resources you can rely on.