15 Cities You Won't Be Able to Afford in 5 Years

If you’re planning to move in the next few years, it may be harder to find an affordable place in these cities.
Updated April 3, 2023
interracial couple moving into new house with boxes

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Some cities aren’t slowing down much when it comes to housing costs, which may have an effect on your future plans.

If you’re thinking about changing cities or states in the next few years, here are some of the cities you may want to avoid in order to save money and stick to a budget.

Worcester, Massachusetts

Jacob/Adobe Worcester Massachusetts on a cloudy day

Home prices in Worcester slowed a bit in September compared to August, according to real estate website Redfin, with the median home price of $385,000. That’s a 4.1% increase compared to a year earlier.

Lakeland, Florida

Robert Hainer/Adobe downtown Lakeland Florida on Lake Mirror

Florida home prices have gone up so much in recent years that retirees are already being priced out of the market, particularly as remote workers move in. That’s true of places like Lakeland where the median home price sits at $317,700, a 10.3% increase from last year.

Bakersfield, California

Matt Gush/Adobe  downtown Bakersfield California USA

Bakersfield may not be as expensive as other cities in California, but that could be driving prices up faster than different areas due to its relative affordability. 

The median home price in Bakersfield was $379,000 in September, which is 8.3% higher in September 2022 compared to September 2021.

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Atlantic City, New Jersey

f11photo/Adobe Atlantic City New Jersey

Living on the Jersey shore comes with a cost. While the median home price was $212,500 in September, it represents a whopping 51.8% price increase from a year earlier. That kind of rise could price out potential residents who wait too long to buy into the market.

Madison, Wisconsin

soupstock/Adobe downtown Madison Wisconsin buildings with Capitol of Wisconsin

Madison may be considered a college town in the Midwest, but prices are hot for potential buyers. The median cost of a home was $355,200 in September, marking a 6% increase compared to a year earlier, according to Redfin.

Tucson, Arizona

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Tucson Arizona

Buyers from more expensive West Coast cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, or San Francisco are moving to Tucson for more affordable houses or to retire. 

But that influx is pushing prices higher with a median home price of $329,000, which is a 9.7% increase from September 2021 to September 2022.

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Richard/Adobe Snake River running through Idaho Falls in Idaho

Idaho Falls has seen an increase in housing prices in the past year. A median home price there is $473,000, which is 2.6% higher than a year ago, according to Redfin. 

But the number of newly listed homes is down 29.7% in September compared to a year earlier, which could bring extra pressure and higher costs to the market.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

andreykr/Adobe Downtown Minneapolis Minnesota

The rising costs of housing in this Midwest town may make it unaffordable in the coming years. The median cost of a home in Minneapolis was $332,750 in September, a 2.4% increase compared to September 2021. 

However, the city has seen a five-year increase of 28% compared to when the median home price was $241,645 in September 2017.

Boulder, Colorado

Wirestock Creators/Adobe boulder Colorado aerial drone panorama

Make sure you bring a good chunk of change with you if you want to move to Boulder. The median home price in the city is a whopping $965,000, an 11% increase in the median cost of a home in September 2022 compared to a year earlier.

Orlando, Florida

lunamarina/Adobe Orlando skyline from Lake Eola

The home of Disney World may not be the happiest place on earth for potential homebuyers. The median home price in the area was $361,000 in September, a 15.3% increase compared to a year earlier, according to Redfin. 

Homes currently sell in 17 days in Orlando with an average of three offers per sale.

Austin, Texas

Ryan Conine/Adobe Austin Texas skyline at sunset

You may already be priced out of the housing market if you want to move to Austin. The median home there costs $563,212, which is a 2.6% increase in September compared to a year earlier. 

An increase of homebuyers from outside of the state from places like California may have led to an increase in demand.

Eugene, Oregon

David Gn/Adobe Eugene downtown from Skinner Butte Park panorama

Eugene has become a popular destination for homebuyers, particularly those from more expensive states like California and Texas. That may have pushed housing prices up, with the median home price around $510,000 in September, a 16.2% year-over-year increase.

Las Vegas, Nevada

lucky-photo/Adobe Las Vegas strip at sunny day

Las Vegas continues to grow, which is reflected in the cost of homes. The median home price in the city is now at $404,750, a 10.6% increase in September compared to September 2021. The median home price five years ago was only $240,000, according to Redfin.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Kevin Ruck/Adobe pier in Myrtle Beach South Carolina drone aerial

It may be nice to live on the beach, but it’s going to cost you. The median home price in Myrtle Beach is $289,000, which represents a whopping 25.7% increase in the past year. 

The city has become a hot destination for residents from East Coast cities who want to move somewhere warmer or a place to work remotely.

Nashville, Tennessee

Kenneth Keifer/Adobe Cumberland River flows through the city of Nashville Tennessee

Nashville has seen growth in recent years, which is reflected in its increasing housing market. The city’s median home price was $445,700 in September, representing a 17.3% increase in cost from a year earlier. 

Nashville has also seen a 19.7% decline in the number of homes sold, which may be putting extra pressure on costs going up with less supply available.

Bottom line

baranq/Adobe coworkers brainstorming and working on project on lunch break in cafe

If you’re looking to move to a new city, there are plenty of options to choose from. Remember to do your research before you decide where you want to live so you aren’t buying near the top of the market. 

And don't forget to keep an eye out for emerging cities that may continue to grow at a rate faster than a more affordable option.

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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.

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