If you are a real estate investor, you probably know that population growth can be seen as an indicator of a healthy real estate market. While it doesn't tell the whole story, it can help you get a better idea of where to start building your portfolio. In light of that, here is an overview of the 10 fastest growing cities in the U.S.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Redfin's (NASDAQ: RDFN) market insights, we have brought you a closer look at how each fastest growing city has grown over the past decade and what the current housing market looks like from an investing standpoint.
1. Frisco, Texas
Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area -- and home to the National Videogame Museum -- Frisco, Texas, is America's fastest growing city, according to the 2020 Census. Its population has grown an astounding 71.1% since 2010, swelling to 200,490 as of 2019.
As you might expect, the housing market in Frisco is fairly hot. With a median home value of $554,000, home prices in Frisco are far above the national average of $386,000. However, it may be worth the price since 68% of homes sold above their list price, and available homes only stay on the market for an average of 17 days.
2. Buckeye, Arizona
In second place is Buckeye, Arizona. This Phoenix suburb is just a 45-minute drive from the city center, and its population has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade. With a population growth rate of 56.6%, the city has swelled to 79,620 residents.
With a median home value of just $397,000, Buckeye falls in line with the national average. Still, it's worth noting that 55% of homes sell above their list price, and homes tend to stay on the market for an average of 23 days.
3. New Braunfels, Texas
In third place is another Texas city: New Braunfels. New Braunfels is a small city outside San Antonio that's known for having two rivers flow through its limits. Notably, the city has experienced a population increase of 56.4% since the census was last performed in 2010. As of 2019, the city had an estimated population of 90,029.
Investors may want to take a really close look at this city, especially anyone planning out their investment strategy. The median home price here is only $340,000, which is well below the national average. Additionally, if you have a home to sell, expect it to move fast. Homes are only staying on the market for an average of 10 days.
4. McKinney, Texas
A suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, McKinney, Texas, is just about 32 miles north of Dallas. With a population of 199,177 in 2019, this big city experienced a 51.9% uptick in population over the last decade. Between historic downtown McKinney and the Towne Lake recreation area, this suburb has a lot to offer its residents.
As far as the real estate market is concerned, there were 391 homes sold in Mckinney last year. The average home sold for $442,000. However, investors should keep in mind that competition is likely to be stiff here. A whopping 77% of homes sold above their asking prices -- a 239% increase year over year (YOY).
5. South Jordan, Utah
Situated along the banks of the Jordan River and surrounded by mountains, this metropolitan area is just 18 miles south of Salt Lake City. According to the latest census figures, it had a population increase of 51.8% through 2010. An estimated 76,598 residents live within the city limits.
Fewer homes sold in South Jordan in the last year. According to data from Redfin, home sales are down 30% YOY, with only 139 homes going under contract since 2020. In addition, it's worth noting that homes here might be particularly pricey. The median home price is currently $569,000.
6. Meridian, Idaho
Meridian is Idaho's third-largest city and the fastest growing city in the state. It is about a 15-minute drive from Boise, Utah, the state capital. Per census data, this big city had 48.3% population growth over the last 10 years. As of 2019, Meridian had a population of 114,161.
According to Redfin, Meridian is somewhat less competitive than the other cities on this list. Only 11% of homes sold above their original list price, and a total of 278 homes have sold in August of this year. Still, the average home here sells for around $540,000, which may put this market out of reach for some investors.
7. Cedar Park, Texas
One of Austin's major suburbs, Cedar Park, Texas, sits about 16 miles northwest of the city center. The small city has experienced a 44.2% population growth over the last decade, totaling 79,462 residents as of 2019.
From an investing perspective, it seems like the housing market in Cedar Park might be cooling down a little. Homes now sit on the market for an average of 33 days, up from just nine days last year. Still, a total of 156 homes sold in August for a median sale price of $515,000.
8. Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida, is known as the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida. Along with the more residential Cape Coral, Florida, it makes up a metropolitan statistical area that is home to over 770,000 residents. On its own, Fort Myers can claim only 87,103 of those. However, its total population has grown by 39.9% in the last 10 years.
Since the area is less residential, commercial real estate investors interested in office buildings and retail spaces might have more luck when it comes to investing. That said, if you do want to try your luck at investing in a residential home, you may be able to score a deal. The median home price here is only $300,000.
9. Conroe, Texas
The last Texas city we will mention is Conroe. It's the county seat of Montgomery County and is located about 40 miles north of Houston. Over the past decade, Conroe has experienced a 39.3% population growth. As of 2019, this growing but still rural-feeling city had an estimated 91,079 residents.
In Conroe, a total of 359 homes sold this August, a figure which is up almost 10% YOY. Additionally, homes here are relatively affordable. The median home price is currently $305,000, and prices have increased only 11% over the last year. Available homes usually stay on the market for an average of 13 days.
10. Irvine, California
Part of Orange County, Irvine, California, is located about an hour south of Los Angeles. Home to the University of California, Irvine and a few other schools, this large city might be a good pick for real estate investors who are interested in specializing in student housing. In total, the population has grown 35.5% over the past decade, making the city home to approximately 287,401 people.
As far as the housing market is concerned, it's about what you would expect for the California real estate market. The median home price tops out at over $1.1 million, which is an increase of nearly 30% YOY. Yet, if you can find the right match, there should be time to submit an offer. Homes stay on the market for an average of 29 days.
The Millionacres bottom line
At the end of the day, population growth is only one factor to consider when you're thinking of investing in a new real estate market. You also have to look at other factors such as job growth and rental rates.
If you want to take a more detailed look at any of the areas we've covered in this list, check out our city-specific investing forecasts for more information.