Adding about 100,000 residents to its population of nearly 10 million between 2012 & 2013, the state of North Carolina is truly growing. The unemployment rate plunged from 9.5% to 6.9% during this period... a strong result to be sure.
NerdWallet, a website on a mission to save you money, took a look at the 59 North Carolina cities with populations greater than 15,000 to find out which offer the best value for potential homeowners. Their analysis tried to answer three main questions:
1. Are homes available? They looked at the metro area’s homeownership rate to determine the availability of homes. A low homeownership rate is likely a signal of competitive inventory, more options for renters rather than buyers and expensive housing. Areas with a high homeownership rate led to a higher overall score.
2. Can you afford to live there? They looked at median household income, monthly homeowner costs and median home value to assess affordability and determine whether residents could live comfortably in the area. They used monthly homeowner costs to measure cost of living. Areas with high median incomes and low cost of living scored higher.
3. Is the area growing? They measured population growth to ensure that the area is attracting new residents and showing signs of solid growth. This is likely a signal of a robust local economy, which is another attractive characteristic for homebuyers.
Many areas we serve ranked highly in the results. Top cities include:
1. Holly Springs
2. Indian Trail: The town with Native American roots sits about 15 miles from Charlotte. Indian Trail celebrated its centennial just seven years ago. Homeowner costs here account for 26.4% of the median monthly household income and 85.8% of homes in Indian Trail are owned rather than rented. The population jumped during the 1990s from 1,942 to 11,905 residents, and has not stopped growing. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated a population of 34,800 for 2012. The town turned its focus to improving the community atmosphere in 2009, by initiating a Parks Master Plan, which would create more parks and recreation opportunities in the town. Crossing Paths Park, the town’s first municipal park, opened in 2011 and features public art, playgrounds and an amphitheater.
4. Wake Forest
10. Mint Hill: A suburb of Charlotte, Mint Hill saw a 4.3% population jump between 2010 and 2012. The town has an 81% homeownership rate, the median monthly income is $5,806, and 27.5% of that income is devoted to homeowner costs. Mint Hill is home to Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park and Wilgrove Park, as well as a nationally recognized youth football program.