12 Hot Housing Markets Where the Good Life is Still Affordable

Worried about the high cost of living? Moving to these places may put your mind at ease.
Last updated April 3, 2023 | By Jenny Cohen Edited By Chris Kissell
aerial view of housing in Fontana California

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Housing prices are finally starting to cool a bit as mortgage rates begin to rise. But prices are still elevated in many cities, making it tough to find a good bargain.

However, here’s some news to help calm your money stress: There are some hot housing markets where prices remain affordable.

Recently, Realtor.com rounded up a dozen hot markets with a median home price of less than $500,000 as of June. Following are the cities that made the list.

Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana

Jack/Adobe Elkhart County Courthouse

Median home value: $279,450

Sister cities Elkhart and Goshen are located in northern Indiana close to South Bend, the home of the University of Notre Dame.

But be careful; Although this market is affordable now, Realtor.com notes that the area saw a 49.4% increase in median home prices in the second quarter of this year compared to a year earlier.

Burlington, North Carolina

David/Adobe Charlotte North Carolina skyline

Median home value: $380,150

The secret is out about Burlington, and homes are selling fast. In the second quarter of 2022, homes here were on the market for an average of just 15 days.

Johnson City, Tennessee

Jason/Adobe Johnson City Tennessee at night

Median home value: $350,000

Johnson City is in the eastern part of the state, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains near North Carolina. It’s known for being the birthplace of Mountain Dew soda.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Nick/Adobe Promenade Park in downtown Fort Wayne

Median home value: $286,400

Fort Wayne is in the northeast corner of Indiana, close to the Ohio border. TripAdvisor named the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo one of the 10 best zoos in the nation.

Raleigh, North Carolina

zimmytws/Adobe new homes on a quiet street in RaleighNC

Median home value: $499,950

Coming in at just under $500,000, Raleigh is a popular city for new residents who want to be a part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. The city is renowned as a home to tech and healthcare companies.

Rapid City, South Dakota

Jacob/Adobe Rapid City South Dakota in Summer

Median home value: $409,900

Located in western South Dakota, Rapid City is near Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which brings in millions of visitors each year. It’s also close to Sturgis, home to the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Topeka, Kansas

Christopher Boswell/Adobe Topeka, Kansas

Median home value: $225,000

Topeka is the state capital of Kansas. The city is also home to the Kansas Museum of History and the Evel Knievel Museum.

Visalia-Porterville, California

Jacob/Adobe downtown Visalia California during spring

Median home value: $415,995

These two neighboring cities are located south of Fresno and close to Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park. That could make them great destinations if you love the outdoors and want access to nature.

Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Durham North Carolina Skyline

Median home value: $499,450

The two western anchors of North Carolina’s Research Triangle are the cities of Durham and Chapel Hill, home to Duke University and the University of North Carolina, respectively.

Huntsville, Alabama

Christopher Boswell/Adobe dusk over the downtown urban City Center of Huntsville Alabama

Median home value: $409,775

You could say Huntsville is “out of this world,” as it is home to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Jefferson City, Missouri

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Missouri River with the State Capitol at dusk

Median home value: $239,900

Missouri’s capital was named after Thomas Jefferson and has gorgeous views of the Missouri River.

Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Kentucky

4kclips/Adobe street view in Louisville downtown

Median home value: $277,000

This area located near Louisville has recorded only a 3.4% growth in its listing price for the second quarter of this year compared to a year ago, making it an affordable place to live, according to Realtor.com.

Bottom line

mozhjeralena/Adobe American suburban neighborhood

There are still trendy markets in the U.S. where you don’t have to break the bank to buy a home. In these places, you can get affordable digs that allow you to avoid having to live paycheck to paycheck.

So, stop throwing money away on expensive housing and consider these cities where life comes with a more reasonable price tag.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.