View of the downtown Boise, Idaho skyline
Realtor.com’s list of 2020’s hot housing markets will surprise you. Realtor.com looked at projected home sales and price data of the country’s largest 100 metros to create the top ten. Markets that made the list from one to ten include, Boise, Idaho, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Columbia, South Carolina, Rochester, New York, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina, and Memphis Tennessee.
“These markets are at the top of our list thanks to a combination of lower cost of living and attractive amenities,” notes George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com. “There is a noticeable migration away from big cities as these smaller cities look very different today because of all they now offer, especially for Millennials,” he adds. Forget about going coastal, most of these inland markets boast strong local economies, healthy job creation and most importantly sane housing prices. This year nine out of the ten markets were away from coastal metros. Compare that to last year when the data showed four out of the top ten were either on the coast or nearby.
Map of realtor.com’s Top Housing Markets of 2020
“When you study these metro areas you find similar amenities to major cities minus the traffic and the high housing prices,” explains Ratiu. It’s also getting easier to live and work in these cities as working remotely continues to gain favor among employers and entrepreneurs in this digital age. According to realtor.com “in the top 10 markets, home sales are expected to increase 2.4 percent and prices by 3.1 percent on average year-over-year. That contrasts with a 1.8 percent decrease in home sales and a 0.8 percent increase in sales prices nationwide.” Some of these cities realtor.com refers to as “sister cities” to larger ones where home prices are steeper. Look at Colorado Springs as a Denver alternative. According to Zillow, the median home value in Colorado Springs is $311,380. Compare that to Denver where it hits $449, 044.
Looking at median home prices in several of the cities on realtor.com’s list reveals some affordable housing markets for 2020. At the number one spot is Boise, Idaho which realtor.com’s data has it at $295,000. That’s up 8.1% from last year. Then there’s Tucson, Arizona home to the University of Arizona which has seen Amazon, Texas Instruments and Caterpillar open locations there. Tucson’s median home price is at a comfortable $230,000. Chattanooga, Tennessee which has occupied the fourth spot both this year and last has seen a 3.6% percent increase in home prices with the median price at $189,000.
Tennessee is attractive since there is no state income tax, meaning your housing dollars can further. Nashville once an affordable city now has priced out some homebuyers. Chattanooga and Memphis offer affordable choices. Memphis’ median home price is $188,000. Millennials who work remotely and are willing to consider other options than big cities should look at this list. They stand to be surprised by how much house they can get in 2020.