Key Highlights

  • Data analyses from Urban Land Institute, Realtor.com and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) point to cities with good investment potential in 2020
  • Metro-level studies highlight 5 metros in Texas & the Carolinas

Three top housing industry association and institutional research groups got together to determine which US cities may be solid bets as potential real estate investments in 2020, realtor.com, Urban Land Institute and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR.)

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All three groups focused on where positive long-term investments might be based on a variety of factors including but not limited to firm financial footing, population growth, jobs growth, real estate prices that reflect specific locations, displacement and climate threats. Here are the five metros with current relative affordability that are worth potential buyers attention:

  1. Charlotte NC – population: 859,035 and median home price: $248,811
    1. Queen City has a diversifying economy, strong job market and mega-developments
    2. Reliable returns
      1. Values have grown by +4% on average for last 40 years
      2. Zillow predicts Charlotte as only market of its top 25 that NOT expected to under-perform in the national average of home values in 2020.
  • NAR selected Charlotte as the market expected to out-perform over the next 5 years.
  1. Charlotte is celebrated as a “Millennial Boomtown.”
  1. Charleston SC – population: 130,113 and median home price: $328,110
    1. Urban Land Institute called Charleston a “small jewel with tremendous growth potential.”
    2. Boutique market with historic homes and cobblestone streets
    3. Continued, steady, forward march in home values as supply is constrained in this relatively small metro.
      1. Housing market nearly met record-setting growth in 2018.
      2. Since Great Recession, more expensive property investments have grown some +50% in value.
  • Charleston is NOT a good place to look for entry-level, affordable housing…look elsewhere for this market segment.
  1. Dallas TX – population: 1,341000 and median home price: $233,148
    1. This larger metro-plex continues seeing population increase, corporate relocations and expansion
    2. Zillow predicts prices to rise +4.5% in 2020 due to more lenient housing regulations, job growth, and population growth
    3. Incredibly popular over last decade with +12% population growth between 2010-2018.
    4. Continued exodus to Texas expected to continue due to high housing costs elsewhere and a hefty jobs market.
  2. Raleigh NC – population: 464,758 and median home price: $284,296
    1. Booming housing hub as part of Research Triangle
      1. Ranks third after Silicon Valley and San Francisco in terms of the percentage of local jobs in the tech sector.
    2. Urban Land Institute named Raleigh the second hottest US real estate market in 2020
    3. Home values have jumped +50% in last decade
    4. Home values increased +5.5% in 2019 and Zillow predicts a +4% increase in home values during 2020
  3. San Antonio TX – population: 1,493,000 and median home price: $184,322
    1. According to Curbed’s Patrick Sisson, “If Dallas is the marquee metro for investment, then consider San Antonio a smart value.”
    2. Single-family home prices increased +8.9% in 2019, according to FHFA (Federal Housing Financing Association.)
    3. Fast paced building in all directions and fast growing downtown
    4. Offers buyers affordability with growth
      1. “San Antonio may be the only market in the US seeing an increase in production of sub $200,000 homes,” said Jack Inselmann, the regional director of Metrostudy.
      2. The metro’s low prices and steady economy attracts out-of-town buyers, especially buyers with families looking for starter-homes and investors looking for homes to rent.

Thanks to Curbed’s Patrick Sisson for source data.

Also read: Inman’s Guide to 2020, 2025, 2030 and Beyond – Part I, Help Your Clients Become Real Estate Literate with These Financial Terms, Curb Appeal Renovations Provide Biggest ROIs