Cities in Florida and North Carolina top the list of markets to watch in 2023
To identify housing markets primed for growth, Insurify’s analysts looked at each city’s average home value appreciation, the increase in new housing units year over year, the ratio of new housing units to homeowners, and population changes. Below is the list of the top 20 cities with home markets to watch.
|City||New Housing Units per 100K Homeowners||Average Home Value||Population Change (2020–2022)|
|Fort Myers, FL||191.13||$402,445||8.10%|
|San Antonio, TX||140.47||$294,967||3.80%|
1. Sarasota, FL
Average home value: $458,659
New units per 100K homeowners: 218.37
Average cost of homeowners insurance: $3,264
Despite the high cost of home insurance in Florida, with Sarasota residents paying 80% more than the U.S. annual average of $1,812, affordability may contribute to the city’s booming market. The metro area’s mortgage-to-income ratio is 19.5% compared to the national average of 23.3%, according to a Q1 2023 report from the National Association of RealtorsⓇ.
New units built in the metro area increased by 24% between June 2022 and June 2023, and with numerous affordable lots of undeveloped land, Sarasota has room to grow. Potential buyers may want to move quickly. The metro area’s population spiked nearly 7% between 2020 and 2022, compared to 0.6% nationwide.
Centrally located between Tampa and Fort Myers, Sarasota is full of locally owned restaurants and family-friendly entertainment amid a scenic natural landscape. Residents have numerous options for outdoor recreation, from Siesta Key Beach to Myakka State Forest.
2. Greensboro, NC
Average home value: $243,540
New units per 100K homeowners: 109.74
Average cost of homeowners insurance: $1,200
Downtown Greensboro’s development plans include increasing public transportation, leveraging the scenic greenway to connect unique districts, and building a 3,000-to-5,000-seat multi-use arena by 2030. Residential development is also booming, with a 148% year-over-year increase in new units in the metro area.
At less than $250,000, Greensboro’s average home value is 28% lower than the U.S. average of $348,853. Residents also pay 34% less for homeowners insurance than the U.S. average. Greensboro home values increased 6% year over year compared to 1% nationally, so buying property in this steadily growing city could be a smart investment.
As the third-largest city in North Carolina, Greensboro boasts numerous amenities, including boutiques, art galleries, local breweries, and trendy new restaurants in its walkable downtown. The city’s strong public school system is also a draw for families.
3. Raleigh, NC
Average home value: $433,469
New units per 100K homeowners: 178.73
Average cost of homeowners insurance: $1,128
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is dubbed the Research Triangle, as it’s home to Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The highly educated workforce attracts technology and biotech companies, making Raleigh the fifth-hottest labor market in The Wall Street Journal’s 2023 annual rankings of nearly 400 metro areas.
The average home value in Raleigh is 24% higher than the U.S. average, but due to a thriving job market, the mortgage-to-income ratio is lower, at 17.1% compared to 23.3% nationally, according to a 2023 report from the National Association of RealtorsⓇ. Higher prices aren’t quelling demand, and developers are taking notice. The metro area saw a 62% year-over-year increase in new units.
In addition to numerous restaurants, shops, breweries, and performing arts venues, the aptly nicknamed City of Oaks has more than 200 parks featuring playgrounds, pools, dog runs, and tree-lined trails.
4. Fort Myers, FL
Average home value: $402,445
New units per 100K homeowners: 191.13
Average cost of homeowners insurance: $2,568
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers balances urban amenities and outdoor recreation. The area boasts more than 590 miles of shoreline and 50 miles of white-sand beaches.
The Fort Myers metro area population surged 8.1% between 2020 and 2022, compared to 0.6% nationally, but new units built decreased by 14%. Although Fort Myers has a “Relatively High” climate risk acording to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which makes homeowners insurance pricier, competition could increase as new residents flock to the area.
Fort Myers is popular with retirees, with nearly 22% of the population over age 65. The city’s numerous options for waterfront dining, nightlife, parks, and community events also appeal to young professionals and families.
5. Orlando, FL
Average home value: $388,191
New units per 100K homeowners: 177.35
Average cost of homeowners insurance: $2,460
The average home value in Orlando is nearly $40,000 greater than the national average of $348,853, but homeowners in the region are seeing their investments appreciate. The average total equity gained in one year in the Orlando metro area is $26,642 compared to $7,042 nationwide, according to 2023 National Association of RealtorsⓇ data.
Influenced by the city’s high risk of natural disasters, homeowners insurance prices in Orlando are high. Residents pay an annual average of $2,460, nearly 36% more than the national cost of $1,812. However, nightlife, dining, entertainment, and outdoor recreation options are plentiful in Orlando, drawing homebuyers to the region.
The Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford metro area also has a strong job market, with a March 2023 unemployment rate of 2.6% compared to the national average of 3.5%, according to the National Association of RealtorsⓇ. Disney is the largest employer in the state, with approximately 75,000 employees at the Walt Disney World Resort.