Affordability Reigns on Emerging Housing Markets ‘Hot’ List

A silhouetted picture of a house miniature and a magnifying glass resting along it.

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Less expensive cities that boast strong economies are climbing in popularity as havens for home buyers. Leaving behind pricey coastal cities, home buyers may be showing more willingness to move across the country for cheaper housing. The rise of remote work and the rising search for different lifestyles during the pandemic may be helping to fuel the change, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“People are chasing affordability,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, told The Journal. “People are reordering where they live” due to higher home prices and increased work flexibility, he adds.

Rapid City, S.D., topped the newly released list of the Spring 2022 Wall Street Journal/® Emerging Housing Markets Index. The area is a retirement and tourist destination with its proximity to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills mountain range. Its economy also gets a boost in education, the military, and the health care sector.

The Wall Street Journal/® Emerging Housing Markets Index ranks the 300 largest metros and identifies where housing experts believe are good areas in which to purchase a home for homeowners and investors, with expectations of price appreciation and growth.

The top-ranked markets for the first quarter posted faster home sales, higher wages, and shorter commute times than the rest of the market in comparison, says George Ratiu, manager of economic research at®.

A list of emerging hot metro markets in real estate.