The 2021 housing market gave prospective buyers a wild ride. Shortages of materials and labor made inventory scarce, while rock bottom interest rates boosted demand, creating a perfect storm of bidding wars and inflated home values.
Things are expected to calm down in 2022. So if you’ve been waiting to buy, this year might be the time to do it. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or seasoned homeowner looking for your next investment property, here are 10 cities that real estate experts say are great places to buy property this year.
Austin has been a popular destination for the past several years, and that looks to be a trend that will continue. A strong job market and tech-heavy economy have yielded some of the highest appreciation of home values in the country, according to Darcy Newton, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman.
“Even if the housing market cools down, data shows Austin as a smart choice for those looking to grow their wealth through real estate,” she said.
Boise has something for everyone, according to Isabelle Emond, a real estate broker and the owner of RE/MAX Ocean Surf and Sun. There’s a lively urban scene with modern restaurants, recreation facilities, annual festivals and museums. It also offers beautiful outdoor spaces that serve as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus, a low unemployment rate of 3.5% and thriving job market make it a great destination for young professionals.
“It attracts more people to invest in the city, making it worth your investment in the long-term,” Emond said.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Nate Johnson, real estate analytics manager for NeighborWho, said one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities to watch in 2022 is Charlotte. For one, the cost of living is about 5% below the national average, making it an attractive option for new residents.
“If you’re looking for a property in a desirable climate, Charlotte offers all four seasons without extreme conditions,” Johnson said.
Plus, the city is the second-largest financial capital after New York.
“It is a growing remote city,” he said, “but, if you do have a commute, times average about 25 minutes, which is more manageable than some of the larger cities in the U.S.”
Kyle McCorkel, owner of Safe Home Offer, said Lancaster is his favorite city for finding homes to fix up and flip.
“Because the area has always been more affluent and is basically just getting older, the properties don’t tend to need a lot of work,” he said.
Additionally, Lancaster is known for having good school districts, and the city also has become a trendy place for young people, he added.
Newark, New Jersey
Newark has lagged behind in its potential over the years, according to Jonathan Faccone, a real estate investor, developer and managing member of HaloHomebuyers.
However, it’s only a short train ride from New York City, making it a great commuter choice for those who work in the city.
“Certainly, there are many sections of Newark that leave a lot to be desired,” Faccone said. “But with an effort for revitalization from outside philanthropists like Mark Zuckerberg, Newark does have the potential for transformation, and I believe it could be just a matter of time.”
Palm Springs, California
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, the demand for traveling is higher than ever.
“Today’s traveler is prioritizing comfort, convenience and good reviews of the community as well as the property,” said Corey Ashton Walters, founder and CEO of Here.
Palm Springs allows visitors to shop, dine, sightsee or take a dip in the pool at their private vacation home, he noted.
“This is a profitable location that has potential to provide a great return.”
Michael D. Rehm, a California-based real estate agent, said Sacramento home values have been on the rise and are expected to increase by at least 7% in 2022.
Even so, it’s an affordable alternative to the Bay Area, which is so expensive that even millionaires are getting priced out.
“The influx of buyers from the Bay will keep the Sacramento housing market strong for many years to come — not to mention, the high quality of life in the Sacramento metro region in general,” Rehm said.
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City was ranked the 10th best place to live in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Known for its hiking and skiing, the capital of Utah is projected to experience around 8.5% growth in home values this year, said Seth Williams, a real estate broker and owner of Reference Real Estate.
The population of Utah is also steadily growing, “So it will be one of the best places to make real estate investments,” he said.
Worcester (pronounced woo-stir) is a great city for professionals who want to be close to Boston but avoid the traffic and crowds in favor of a more suburban environment.
At just 50 miles away from the city, it has high demand among homebuyers, and prices are expected to grow 8.2% in 2022, according to Seth Williams, a real estate broker and owner of Reference Real Estate.
“Real estate investors can consider this place as one of the best places to invest,” he said.
Tampa is a gorgeous metropolitan area that was one of the most thriving real estate markets last year, said Kimo Quance, a California-based realtor. The city has gone through many developments over the last few years, with many more happening now.
“The properties in this city possess a great potential of gaining an astounding appreciation in the near future,” Quance said.
In fact, home values in Tampa increased by around 5.4% during the last year. Despite this rapid growth, home prices are still quite affordable, she added.
By Casey Bond