We’re not even two full weeks into the New Year and 2018 is already shaping out to be full of unexpected surprises. While an impending chocolate shortage and matte black accents have us feeling both nervous and excited, so too do travel and housing predictions for the coming year. We already know the healthiest and happiest cities in America, but what about the trendiest? A new report from Zillow reveals just where Americans are starting anew and settling down in 2018—and some of the hotspots may shock you.
In order to gauge 2018’s hottest housing markets, the study looked at areas with rising home values and rental prices, low unemployment rates, steady income growth, and strong job opportunities. Unsurprisingly, once-popular (and now-pricey) metro areas like Los Angeles and New York City have been replaced by more budget-friendly cities that similarly have plenty to offer by way of dynamic art scenes, new restaurants, and bustling nightlife.
Did your home town make the cut? Here’s a quick peek at the top 10 cities:
- San Jose, CA
- Raleigh, NC
- Seattle, WA
- Charlotte, NC
- San Francisco, CA
- Austin, TX
- Denver, CO
- Nashville, TN
- Portland, OR
- Dallas, TX
Gracing the top of the list is none other than Silicon Valley’s San Jose, where high-paying tech jobs continue to draw new residents. But just because people are flocking to the Silicon Valley doesn’t mean it’s at all cheap to live there: The median home value in San Jose is over $1 million. Other tech-dominant cities like Seattle, WA, and Denver, CO—which do a superior job at combating the digital noise with cozy coffee shops and classy cocktail bars—also prove to be popular picks.
And of course, we can’t say we’re surprised to find Austin, TX, in the top 10, considering the millennial-friendly city has a thing for chic offices (which, yes, even come with designated nap rooms). Of all the cities mentioned, Austin has been experiencing the strongest population growth.
Perhaps more shocking, however, is that North Carolina seems to be gaining some serious traction. “Growing cities in the Sun Belt, places like Raleigh, Charlotte, and Nashville, offer plenty of opportunities in healthcare and finance, while providing a less-expensive, but still-convenient, alternative to the larger and pricier markets in the Northeast,” explains Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.
No longer overshadowed by popular nearby destinations like Asheville, NC, and Charleston, SC, Raleigh takes the reins as Zillow’s second hottest housing market. While a must-visit for comfort-foodies, beer drinkers, and country music fans alike, Raleigh has also fast been becoming a haven for design enthusiasts and entrepreneurs—as the city’s most stylish watering hole, Brewery Bhavana, can easily attest.
Likewise, Raleigh’s popular Carolina counterpart, Charlotte, is no longer a city you travel to for work, but a place to put down permanent roots. Chic boutique hotels, edgy microbreweries, and must-know art galleries are just a few reasons to call the booming banking hub home.
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