Real estate

Year-end wrapup: Real estate’s 5 hottest markets in 2019

Early last month, NAR released its Top Ten Outperforming Metro Markets Report. Interestingly, most of the markets that made it into reports during the year didn’t make the NAR list.

Boise, Grand Rapids, Omaha, Rochester and other highly-touted housing markets are absent. No city in California or New York made the list either, while 2 cities in Colorado and North Carolina did.

Before we dive in to the list we need to explain NAR’s methodology. Better yet, we’ll let them explain it:

Cities made the list “based on domestic migration, housing affordability for new residents, consistent job growth relative to the national average, population age structure, attractiveness for retirees and home price appreciation, among other variables.”

If you work in one of these cities, 2022 may just turn out to be a cakewalk. If you don’t, read up on real estate agent relocation (just kidding).

The list appears as produced by NAR – in alphabetical order.

Charleston–North Charleston, South Carolina

Recent movers to the area make up 16 percent of the population and 25 percent of them are between the ages of 25 and 34. In fact, that’s the largest age group among NAR’s Top Ten Outperforming Metro Markets Report.

Since 43 percent of them who moved to the Charleston area earn less than $50,000 per year, it’s easy to see understand why only 36 percent of new residents purchased a home. The rest are renting.

The good news for agents serving this market is that 40 percent of these renters can afford to buy a home. Now you just have to figure out who they are and let them know the good news.

Or, consider focusing on tenants in 2022, concentrating on apartment communities and the homes of absentee owners as your new farm areas.

Charlotte–Concord–Gastonia, North Carolina/South Carolina

With a population of more than 2.5 million, this metro is filling up fast. Recent movers number more than 306,000 with most of them (70 percent) renting a place upon arrival.

The NAR’s Top Ten Outperforming Metro Markets Report says that 56 percent of these tenants can be homeowners, so get the word out about down payment assistance programs for homebuyers.

Although most of the new residents are from the Denver area, another big chunk came from New York and New Jersey.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

It most likely comes as no surprise to anyone that Colorado Springs made this list. It’s been hot for a couple of years now, and is the perfect place for agents to work on building up their SOI.

Nearly a quarter of the city’s population is made of newcomers. If you live and work there and it seems to be changing, that’s most likely why.

Most of the newcomers are age 34 and younger and nearly half earn less than $50,000. Most (68 percent) decided to rent in their new city and only about one-third of them, in NAR’s estimation, can afford to purchase a home.

Columbus, Ohio

Nearly 324,000 Americans who decided to pull up stakes and move chose Columbus, Ohio to call home. Most are fellow Ohioans, however, hailing from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Akron and Mansfield.

If you don’t live in Columbus, you’re wondering what draws these folks, right? Mainly, the economy.

Strong and diverse, there’s been a lot of hiring over the past year or two. In fact, over the next decade, job growth is predicted to be 34.2 percent, according to Sperling’s Best Places.

Currently, more than half of the newcomers earn less than $50,000 a year.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

The NAR’s Top Ten Outperforming Metro Markets Report says that more than 1 million people are considered “recent movers” to the Dallas metro area. Three quarters of them decided to rent a home despite the fact that more than half of them (51 percent) can afford to buy a home there.

The median income of your new neighbors is the second highest of any of the previously noted metros, at $57,900 (in Charlotte, it’s $58,000).

While slightly more than 15,000 of the newcomers moved from Houston, the next biggest chunk hail from Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California.

This ought to be interesting to watch.

Fort Collins, Colorado

Congrats to Colorado – two metros in the state made the NAR list.

Newcomers to Fort Collins are, by and large, lacking in wealth. The largest share earn less than $50,000 a year, which is probably why nearly 75 percent are renters.

The top four cities that the newcomers left are in Colorado (Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Greeley). Other states that sent folks fleeing include California, Illinois, Missouri and Wyoming.

Only 15 percent of these newcomers to Fort Collins can afford to buy a home there, which isn’t exactly great news for agents there.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The Californication of Las Vegas continues, much to the dismay of Vegas residents. There is a lot of wealth that is choosing to remain in the Golden State, pushing out those with less. In fact, the median income of new Vegas residents is the lowest of any of the cities on the list: $46,500.

Fortunately, they can live on that in Sin City. They’ll also love that the State of Nevada keeps its hands out of their income, especially in light of how much California took in taxes every payday.

According to the NAR’s Top Ten Outperforming Metro Markets Report, Seventy-one percent of these new residents are renters yet more than one-third can afford to buy a home in the valley.

Ogden-Clearfield, Utah

The first thing we noticed about the stats for the Ogden-Clearfield metro in Utah is that the newcomers hail from a number of different states. Sure, the top three cities they fled were in Utah but the rest came from California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Texas.

The median income of these folks is $55,500 and they probably need every penny of it because they brought a ton of kids with them. Sixty-three percent are renting and just a smidge over 40 percent can afford to buy.

Tweak your marketing to tenants and appeal to their status as parents of youngsters. Those kids need a dog! And a backyard to keep it in.

Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

With an average 10-year tenure for homeowners in this metro, inventory must be pretty tight. Whether that’s the reason nearly three quarters of newcomers chose to rent is unknown.

Half of those renters, however, can afford to buy a home here. Come on, agents, go after them.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida

More than half a million Americans decided to pull up stakes and head for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida. The top two origination points are about equally split between Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and New York-Newark-Jersey City.

One of the things that caught our eye was just how many Floridians are among the movers. Further down the list you’ll see that they came from Jacksonville, Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland-Winter Haven and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton.

Tampa is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation and for two major reasons: job growth and affordability. And the sunshine . . . can’t forget that.

Check this out: 159,700 of the newcomers who chose to rent can afford to buy. That’s a nice, big buyer pool to go after, don’t you think?

If you’d like to check out NAR’s Top Ten Outperforming Metro Markets Report for yourself, you will find it at

Curious to know how these cities stacked up to 2018’s numbers? Check out our list of the top 5 fastest-growing cities in 2018 to find out!


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