The 10 Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate Now

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A couple holds a "Sold" sign in front of their home
michaeljung /

Choosing a city for a real estate investment is a big financial decision. There are so many factors to weigh, including population growth, recent trends in home values, rental yields and housing demand.

The annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report is a joint publication of giant professional-services network PricewaterhouseCoopers and the nonprofit Urban Land Institute research and education organization.

It uses information from experts, market focus groups and the nonprofit research and education organization’s own survey to compile its list of real estate markets to top investors’ wish lists.

Here are the top 10 markets in this 40th annual survey.

10. Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg, Florida

Tampa, Florida
picturin /

The draw of the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg real-estate market goes beyond the warm weather.

While properties in the Tampa Bay Area still are relatively affordable, the Emerging Trends report notes that the Florida region is gaining increasing recognition as a major market.

It wins praise for:

  • manageable costs
  • demographic growth
  • welcoming climate for business

9. Charlotte, North Carolina

Home surrounded by greenery in Charlotte,NC.
Jon Bilous /

Charlotte, the most populous city in North Carolina, stands out among the Emerging Trends report’s top 10 due to:

  • the city’s strong real-estate and homebuilding markets
  • its draw for new residents
  • strong employment growth rates
  • strong development and redevelopment opportunities

8. Denver, Colorado

Studio 1One /

Many people come to the Denver region for skiing, mountain climbing and other outdoor pursuits. A strong net migration contributes to a 2019 population growth in Colorado’s capital city projected to be well above the national rate.

Denver was singled out in this report for its:

  • strong prospects for homebuilding, and real estate development and investment
  • youthful population, which is expected to keep supplying workers for the local labor market

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston in winter
Marcio Jose Bastos Silva /

This historic city received high marks because of its strong jobs market in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. Jobs in these fields are expected to grow 73 percent faster than the job market as a whole through 2026, the report notes. Boston also is seen at the center of such real estate trends as redevelopment and sustainability.

You don’t need a degree from Harvard to see Boston’s potential.

6. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Brandon Seidel /

Austin, capital of the Lone Star State, also was included because of its robust STEM jobs market. “Annual wages (are] more than double the average, in these tech heavy markets,” the report points out. As job-seekers flock to that market, the city boasts population growth that’s more than three times the national rate, with a significantly higher percentage of younger residents, in the 0-to-24 and 25-to-44 age cohorts.

5. Nashville, Tennessee

House in Nashville, Tennessee
eakkarat rangram /

Nashville is yet another strong technology jobs market, which helps to explain its presence on this list. At the same time, the city also has been cited for an attractive cost of living. Tennessee’s capital and most populous city, Nashville continues to outperform the national average in a number of demographic and economic measures, the report notes.

4. Orlando, Florida

House in Orlando, Florida
Tom Fawls /

Mickey Mouse and his Walt Disney World pals aren’t the only ones who want to live in sunny Orlando. The city’s growing population, reasonable costs and business-friendly atmosphere make Orlando another good choice for investors.

3. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Homes in Raleigh, North Carolina
zimmytws /

The list singles out the strength of the science, technology, engineering and math jobs market in the Raleigh and Durham area of North Carolina. In fact, the area has been dubbed The Research Triangle as the home to three major research universities: North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2. Brooklyn, New York

Brian Goodman /

Investor demand is high in urban-industrial Brooklyn, one of New York City’s five boroughs. Investors priced out of New York’s urban core may find Brooklyn to be an appealing yet (relatively) more affordable alternative.

1. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

House in the countryside of Texas
NicholasGeraldinePhotos /

Dallas, along with neighboring Fort Worth, takes the top spot on this year’s Emerging Trends list. High activity among business startups and a young workforce are two reasons for the honor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks the Dallas metro area third in the U.S. for new jobs and annual rate of job growth.

The report notes:

The chief economist for an institutional investor remarked that Dallas/Fort Worth is an interesting market, one with the potential for strong future growth but also with the liquidity of a gateway market.

What do you think about the potential for real estate investment in these top 10 cities? Do you see other places you’d recommend investing? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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