5 High Growth Cities of Tomorrow That You Can Move to Today

by Matty ByloosMarch 30, 2016

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, experts are forecasting an era of major demographic shifts in the United States, with longstanding iconic cities losing some of their mass appeal to new superstar cities that feature the right combination of employment opportunities, cultural cache, and affordability. In this article, we’ll explore 5 cities poised for big growth in the coming years, giving you the opportunity to get in on the ground floor in tomorrow’s hottest real estate markets.

 8212 Hobhouse Circle, Raleigh NC, 27615

Raleigh, North Carolina

Calling Raleigh, North Carolina one of tomorrow’s high growth cities seems to ignore the fact that the greater Raleigh area is already growing by leaps and bounds. But experts say we haven’t seen anything compared to what’s to come–it’s estimated that Raleigh’s population will skyrocket by more than 50% by 2030, according to a report by Urban Institute. This could be due to the fact that the city is quickly becoming one of the east coast’s premier technology hubs. It’s home to Research Triangle Park, which is a hub of high tech and health care innovation. Job opportunities are abundant, education levels are high (thanks to Duke, UNC, and NCS), and with a median home value just under $200k, the American dream is much more affordable than in comparable cities elsewhere.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 4017 Apple Valley Drive, Oklahoma City OK, 73120
Oklahoma City may not be as future-ready as Raleigh, but it’s a hub for the aerospace and energy sectors. Notable employers here include OGE, The University of Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy, Tinker Air Force Base, and Paycom. The city’s median base salary of just over $38k per year may look paltry compared to the pay rates found in other cities on this list, but when you consider the fact that the median home value is only $130k, the good life starts to look pretty attainable in the Panhandle State Capital.

Aside from job opportunities, this southern city also has a host of family-friendly amenities, including a water park, a sports arena, a botanical garden, and one of the highest rated zoos in the country. And if you’re looking for a more cosmopolitan experience, you’ll love Bricktown, the once-abandoned warehouse district now teeming with eateries, retailers, and entertainment options.

Austin, Texas

395 Bitterroot Lane, Austin, TX, 78737
The fact that Austin is a cool city is old news, but those in the know say this Texas city is destined for true greatness. First, the obvious: it’s an immensely fun and entertaining place to live. Between the South by Southwest Multimedia festival, the wonderfully quirky local retailers, and the family-friendly fun at Zilker Metropolitan Park, there’s no shortage of things to keep you amused. Also, the tech sector is growing by leaps and bounds in Austin. It’s home to some of the most promising companies in the industry, not to mention longstanding computing giants like Dell. Unlike fellow Lone Star metros Dallas and Houston, the health of the economy in Austin isn’t nearly as dependent on oil futures. The workforce is relatively young and well educated, and the housing is still relatively affordable… at least for now.

Salt Lake City, Utah

 2564 E Evergreen Ave, Salt Lake City UT, 84109
Over the past five years, Salt Lake City’s double-digit job growth (14.8%) has outpaced its population growth, making it a great place to look for employment. More than 16% of the population here is under 18, giving the city a family-friendly atmosphere now, and a youthful workforce in the future. Tourism is big in SLC, due in no small part to the city’s close proximity to a wide array of picturesque landscapes and excellent winter sports opportunities. The real estate market in Salt Lake City is heating up, posting gains of 7.7% over the past year, but at $242,000 the median home value is downright reasonable compared to other big-name metros.

Kent, Washington

To some, it may be surprising that Kent edged out nearby Seattle on this list, but there are several good reasons why this neighboring community is poised for big growth. For one thing, it’s already been attracting new residents at a rapid clip. Just last year, Kent, WA was ranked one of the fastest growing economies in the country. Boeing, REI, Sysco, Puget Sound Steel, and Alaska Airlines maintain strong presences in Kent, as do hundreds of other well-known businesses. And while median home values in Kent are a relatively modest $302,000 compared to Seattle’s lofty $530,000+, this family-friendly burg is a mere 30-minute drive from the excitement of the big city.
13320 Se 262nd St., Kent, WA, 98042

Beat the Crowds

Most of these cities are just on the cusp of becoming the next boomtowns, and a couple of them are already widely recognized as tomorrow’s best cities. But for the time being, you can still beat the rush if you act quickly. And hey, if the boom gets to be too much a decade from now, you’ll probably be able to sell your home for a tidy profit and relocate to the latest best-kept secret.

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Happy house hunting!

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About The Author
Matty Byloos
Matty is the Content Marketing Specialist for Homes.com. He's a newly minted homeowner who currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife. When he's not working, he enjoys writing fiction, working on the house, and enjoying the amazing nature that the city has to offer. He is also the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency.