Real estate investors need to think beyond the traditional cities — as home prices rise, people are turning toward smaller cities with strong job markets.

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In the next two years, real estate investors will need to think beyond the traditional cities — as home prices continue to rise, more and more people are turning toward smaller cities with strong job markets to buy a home.

While it is not always possible to predict which place will see a surge in home values like Seattle or San Francisco in the last decade, factors like population growth and economic outlook often show which areas have the biggest potential for real estate growth.

“Affordability concerns have put external pressures on traditionally popular markets, like San Francisco and New York,” Holly Tachovsky, the CEO and co-founder of BuildFax, told Inman. “Instead we’re seeing an uptick in migration to markets in Nevada, Colorado and Arizona.”

These are some of the best cities to invest in real estate in 2019 and 2020:

Orlando, Florida – With its sandy beaches and prime retirement communities, Florida has been a popular real estate investment choice for decades. Orlando, which depends on tourism, has been seeing home value growth that experts advise acting on fast.

Las Vegas, Nevada – According to’s 2019 housing market forecast, Las Vegas is seeing a rapid increase in home values due to the large number of people moving there for work. Sin City is expected to see a 7.9 percent growth in sales prices by the end of 2019.

Phoenix, Arizona – According to Tachovsky, those looking to buy an investment property need to look not just at the city itself but also at specific neighborhoods. “Older, established neighborhoods” within up-and-coming cities like Phoenix are often a popular choice among investors.

“Take your time getting to know the neighborhoods in a city,” Tachovsky said. “It’s helpful to drive around, talk to people, watch prices and watch rents. After a while, you’ll get a second sense about good deals and expected rents.”

Denver, Colorado – Long considered a heaven for the outdoorsy types, Denver has recently started seeing jaw-dropping real estate growth — home values grew by 5 percent in the last year alone. As the city expected to reach over 3 million inhabitants by 2020, both investors and homebuyers are flocking to the city. Prices are growing lightning-fast but, according to investment experts, there is still time to act before the market becomes too oversaturated.

Cleveland, Ohio – This Midwestern city has seen more than $19 billion invested in various development over the last 10 years, in no small part due to the lower house prices despite a strong job market. The fact that, compared to Denver and Las Vegas, fewer out-of-towners are considering Cleveland for investment could end up working in one’s favor.

Almost anywhere in Texas – For the last decade, Texas has routinely come out as a top spot for real estate investors. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, seven of the 15 cities with the most significant population growth were in the Lone Star state.

While cities like Austin attract a young and highly educated workforce, Dallas and Houston are popular among families and older residents due to the low cost of living. But overall, Texas’ economy is growing faster than anyone had anticipated and, with it, attracting ample opportunities for investment.

“A testament to that is while some markets cool off, the housing markets in these Texas cities continue to be juggernauts of the industry and defy the market,” JP Piccinini, of JP & Associates Realty (JPAR), told Inman for an earlier article.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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