Zillow economist identities 11 cities primed for real estate investors


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The pandemic years saw housing markets that were previously dismissed as secondary soar to new heights, as remote work policies and low-interest rates inspired a flurry of relocations to cities like Austin, Phoenix and Tampa, driving housing prices to new highs in those cities.

But as the dust has settled on the pandemic and mortgage rates have more than doubled, housing prices have come back to earth in some of these pandemic hotspots. However, demand is still elevated compared to pre-2020, creating opportune situations for investors.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Zillow Chief Economist Skylar Olsen said these 11 markets are ideal cities for real estate investors to purchase properties in the coming years. That’s because, while prices have corrected themselves significantly, job growth is still on the rise, meaning there are strong opportunities for both home price appreciation and rental growth.

“Seek out investments in areas that have good legs or have long-run prospects. I always like to look at job growth for that kind of thing,” Olsen told the outlet. “If we think about job growth since pre-pandemic and we rank that, you’ll kind of see the stars of the pandemic headlines.”

Below are the 11 cities Olsen ranked as the most friendly to investors looking for cash flow and price appreciation in the years ahead.

1. Austin, Texas

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Credit: Tomek Baginski / Unsplash

With its median home price of $509,500, Austin has seen home prices dip 23.8 percent since May 2022, while employment grew 2.8 percent between November 2023 and November 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The central Texas city has long attracted young people with its world-class music scene but is increasingly becoming a tech hub.

2. Nashville, Tennessee

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Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville’s median home price currently sits at $439,950, having fallen by 6.3 percent since May 2022, according to Redfin data. Job growth is at 2.1 percent between November 2022 and November 2023, according to the BLS.

3. Dallas, Texas

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Dallas, Texas

With median home prices sitting at $385,000, home prices in Dallas have retreated 20.7 percent since May 2022, while job growth is up 3.3 percent between November 2022 and November 2023.

4. Tampa, Florida

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Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

While home prices in Tampa have only dropped 2.9 percent since May 2022, they have fallen 13.6 percent since their peak in August 2023, while employment has climbed 1.9 percent. The median home price now sits at $393,000, according to Redfin.

5. Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas / Unsplash

Home prices in Sin City have fallen 4.6 percent to $415,000 since May 2022, while job growth sat at 3.8 percent year over year in November 2023, according to the BLS.

6. San Antonio, Texas

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San Antonio. weston m / Unsplash

Home prices have dropped 15.2 percent since May 2022, bringing San Antonio’s median home price to just $250,000, according to Redfin. Year over year job growth sits at 2.6 percent as of November 2023, according to the BLS.

7. Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte has seen home prices fall 4.6 percent since May 2022 to $384,182, and prices have fallen 9.6 percent since June 2023, while annual job growth was at 2.5 percent in November 2023.

8. Sacramento, California

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Sacramento. Getty Images

The California capital has seen home prices fall 12.6 percent since May 2022 to a median of $463,000. Job growth has hit an annual rate of 2.2 percent as of November 2023, according to the BLS.

9. Atlanta, Georgia

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Brad Huchteman / Unsplash

Atlanta’s median home price currently sits at $360,000, according to Redfin, a decrease of 20 percent since May 2022. Meanwhile, the Big Peach has seen 2.5 percent annual job growth as recently as November 2023.

10. Phoenix, Arizona

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Phoenix, Arizona. Getty Images

A poster child for the pandemic housing market, Phoenix has seen home prices fall 8.5 percent since May 2022 to a median price of $430,000, while employment has continued to trend upward, clocking an annual rate of 1.9 percent in November 2023.

11. Miami, Florida

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Pola Damonte / Getty Images

The only market on this list to see positive price movement over the past year, Miami prices are up 8.9 percent since May 2022. Home prices fell 7.2 percent between May and December of 2022, but have since rebounded sharply while year-over-year job growth was 3 percent in November 2023, according to the BLS.

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