5 Secondary Cities That Are Booming for Home Buyers

For many people, buying a home in one of the major U.S. cities will prove to be financially out of reach. Metropolises like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. boast high prices for properties, especially those with desirable locations and features.

Of course, these costs push many people out of the market in these areas. But their inability to buy in a major city doesn’t mean they can’t buy elsewhere. Plenty of other cities have just as many amenities as the country’s main thoroughfares — but they come with a much more reasonable cost of living.

If you’re a real estate agent working in a smaller city or metropolitan area, you’re in luck. Home buying is booming in growing communities across the U.S. These secondary cities continue to delight homebuyers because they seem to have it all, cost-effective homes included.

1. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

raleigh, north carolina skyline

Raleigh serves as North Carolina’s state capital, and Durham is its next-door neighbor. It’s a region that has long been seeing a boom in growth. Real estate agents will find it’s the perfect spot for new homeowners who are excited to find property in an area many residents love.

Raleigh-Durham has seen long-term growth in terms of jobs. The cities owe this to the tech-centric Research Triangle Park, as well as the many hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and universities in the area.

To that end, this area is great for families looking to settle down. Once they graduate from high school, the kids can choose from one of the 11 traditional universities in the area, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and Duke University.

Home prices continue to rise, making Raleigh-Durham a great place to secure forward-looking clients.

2. Austin, Texas

wall art in austin, texas

There are many reasons why homeowners consider Austin a great target for long-term investment. A move to Austin would have them in one of the best cities in the country for dating. In fact, Austin might be the ideal place to move for young, single adults looking to establish their lives somewhere.

Apart from the bustling dating scene, there’s so much to do in Austin. The city’s known for its incredible Tex-Mex food, so your clients won’t be wanting for amazing restaurants. On top of that, live music plays a huge part in the going-out scene as well.

Moreover, Austin is a great place to start a career — job growth has increased by 137 percent in the last five years. It’s slightly more expensive to buy a home in Austin, but that’s because the market’s hot in this Texan city.

3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This formerly industrial city is seeing growth from a variety of sectors. Pittsburgh has a bustling art scene, a well-known sports reputation, and booming tech industry. Companies including Google, Uber, and Duolingo have outposts in the City of Bridges.

If that’s not enough, the city makes it easy for first-timers to leap into the real estate market. As an agent, you can advise your clients to investigate programs like First Front Door. This bank-driven grant program helps those with lower-than-average incomes to cover their down payment and closing costs.

Although the market’s hot in Pittsburgh, it’s not a particularly expensive place to purchase a home. Potential buyers can enjoy the commodities of a growing city at prices in line with Midwestern cities, offering a great combination for Pennsylvania residents.

4. Pueblo, Colorado

Riverwalk in Pueblo, Colorado

While people flock to Denver — and spike home prices in the process — you could slip into the Pueblo real estate market for a much more sensible price. Many people who move to Colorado do so in search of its incredible outdoor scenery and all the adventurous pursuits that go with it.

Money-conscious buyers can get just as many of those gorgeous hikes and views in Pueblo as they can in more competitive markets. Plus, Pueblo has a thriving food scene, right down to the city’s namesake chili.

More and more people are moving to Pueblo, which means the city has a hot real estate market at the moment. Still, it’s affordable to buy a home here, with a median home value of $158,768. Your clients will appreciate the wealth of options available for even a modest budget.

5. Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho capital building aerial view

Boise is a prime housing market for young families. For starters, Idaho’s the second-safest state in the West, just behind Utah. Boise has made the list of the world’s safest cities, too. Boise feels like the type of environment in which children can walk to school and parents can rest easy with unlocked doors.

Your client list can expand beyond growing families, too. Like many growing economies, Boise’s got a bustling brewery scene. Plus, the city’s just west of the Rocky Mountains and has its namesake river winding through it. Sports-oriented individuals can find plenty of outdoor activities to keep them busy throughout the year.

Again, the secret’s out about this hidden gem, so the real estate market’s booming. The median home value at the end of 2018 was about $300,000, with prices steadily climbing over the past year. Your clients can dive in now and look forward to forecasted growth in the years to come.

Great Secondary Cities for Buyers

The world doesn’t revolve around major cities alone. As more and more secondary cities grow and thrive, we get more proof of that.

It’s not always the best strategy to operate in metropolises that have already been established as powerhouses. Instead, chart a new trend and build a business in cities that have everything your clients need at a fraction of the price.

About the Author: Holly Welles is a real estate writer and the editor of The Estate Update. Her work focuses on renting and homeownership trends that help readers make the most of any space.

Real Estate Career Switch Kit

Want to contribute to our real estate blog? Apply here to reach millions of readers across multiple brands and platforms.

Real Estate License Bird 1a

More than 200,000 real estate professionals got their start with Real Estate Express. See what they are achieving.

Hear what they have to say.

See More Reviews