Whenever metro cities are ranked, you can be pretty certain that Raleigh, N.C. is gone to do very well. The Raleigh-Durham area has a lot of well-known strengths, from a booming economy and a strong housing market to a high quality of life.
The vibrant economy and plentiful entertainment options make the city a magnet for newcomers – which the Raleigh-Durham area definitely has been in recent years.
Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are known for an economic base built around research and technology that’s produced solid job growth over the past few years.
But there’s a lot more to this region than the jobs base. Raleigh appeals to the kind of people who enjoy checking out the great local restaurants here or gathering together for craft beers in one of the region’s numerous microbreweries. It’s a place where a strong, positive sense of community quickly develops.
And now there’s more good news for young families who are considering relocating to the Triangle region: Raleigh has been cited as one of the best cities in the country for first-time home buyers.
For a city that’s already an economic powerhouse for creating jobs, that’s very good news indeed.
How Does Raleigh Rank on Housing Affordability?
The personal finance website WalletHub recently gave Raleigh a high real estate ranking compared to 300 cities based on several key indicators including:
- Housing market attractiveness
- Affordability of homes
- and overall quality of life.
On all three counts, Raleigh got above-average rankings. The region’s real estate market did particularly well, scoring 82 out of 100. Raleigh’s quality of life also got a high score: 89 out of 100. Their conclusion was that Raleigh was a great choice for first time home buyers eager to get into the market.
As the study noted, nearly 40 percent of all single-family home purchases in 2017 were made by first-time buyers. Cities that rank high when it comes to their real estate market and quality of life offer a great deal for those buyers – both in the long run and in the short term.
In other words, if you’ve been thinking about jumping into the housing market, now is the time to do it. Prices are ideal but are also going up. So purchasing now in the Raleigh area is a smart investment in the long run.
WalletHub noted that Raleigh performed well because the city offers jobs, has a low crime rate, and a healthy real estate market. The Research Triangle generates plenty of tech, medical and academic jobs; drawing in new workers. Additionally, the local economy is anchored by North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Those academic institutions and the high-quality students they graduate helps attract a growing number of corporations eager to hire those workers, including IBM, Cisco, Verizon, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Many young families find more than jobs appealing about the region. High-quality schools post above-average scores and property tax rates are below the national average.
What Other Amenities Does The Triangle Area Offer?
Once newcomers arrive, they discover that the area has quite a bit to offer. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill have a high quality of life scores for good reason. This region provides area residents with:
- Attractive green spaces
- Summer concerts
- Music festivals like Hopscotch
- Top-rated and family-friendly museums
- Monthly gallery walks
- Public parks
And keep in mind that this city is just a few hours away from beaches and mountains. It’s a healthy and happy environment for the people living there. When you consider the mild climate, the scenic beauty and the southern hospitality that the locals are eager to provide, it quickly becomes clear why the region is such a strong draw for newcomers.
Interestingly, Raleigh ranks high on another score. According to the Veterans Association, there are more than 19.6 million veterans living in the U.S., and to help military veterans find good places to live, WalletHub ranked the 100 largest U.S. cities for factors that included livability, affordability, and veteran-friendliness.
That could include the availability of jobs requiring military skills, income growth among veterans, and the availability of VA health facilities. Raleigh was ranked as the nation’s fourth most friendly city for military veterans.
How Important is Raleigh’s Housing Market to its Future Growth?
The housing market in the greater Raleigh area is healthy, and getting stronger. The median sales price of houses has been increasing since 2012. According to the real estate website Zillow, Raleigh’s home values have gone up 5.9% over the past year, and Zillow is forecasting that they will continue to rise by an additional 4.6% in the next year.
Fortunately, in Raleigh, the homes don’t sell for the sky-high numbers that are pricing so many first time home buyers out of the market in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. The median home value in Raleigh is $265,900, higher than the national average of $200,000, but far below expensive cities like New York and Los Angeles.
And since home prices are not skyrocketing here as they are in other major metro areas, they become an appealing option for families just starting out, first time home buyers, and military veterans as well.
When Zillow released its list of the Top 10 hottest real-estate markets, based on projections of home values and rents, Raleigh came in second, behind San Jose. Zillow noted that just because a housing market is smaller or more affordable doesn’t mean it won’t have strong growth potential. Raleigh, as Zillow noted, provides not just affordable homes but also strong job opportunities in fields like healthcare and finance.
So that provides a lot of great opportunities for young families, including first time home buyers who may not be aware of the great deals available to them in the Raleigh-Durham area.
The Greater Raleigh-Durham area has joined the ranks of cities and metros areas that offer a great deal for first time home buyers, according to Zillow. While a lot of young families come here for the vibrant jobs market, there’s a lot to keep them happy while they’re here, including plenty of cultural attractions.
A strong real estate market where homes are still affordable, combined with terrific job growth and a high quality of life, helped put Raleigh on the map as a city where first time home buyers have a lot of good options for where to live.
If you’re relocating to this area, have lived here a while and are ready to buy your first home, or are thinking about retiring here, contact us at Waterford Green Communities. Our team of experienced home builders and community development professionals take a lot of pride in building homes in this region that are immaculately designed, appealing to families of all sizes, and won’t be a problem matching your budget.
Our team designs homes with the highest quality materials, and we believe that every family deserves a beautiful place to call home.