The coronavirus pandemic has vastly altered how Americans live. We now spend more time at home than ever, and perceptions of how and where Americans want to live continue to shift with the tide changes.

Mid-sized cities across the country are looking more and more attractive as people try to avoid congested cities where it might be less easy to social distance, and seek out more affordable markets amidst an uncertain economic climate. With more jobs now available in a remote work format, many homebuyers are seeking out properties in more affordable areas, causing a shift to new markets like Boise, Ogden and Syracuse, according to a recent Zillow analysis.

Zillow determined a dozen up-and-coming, mid-sized markets by weighing equally the following variables: home value growth year over year, forecasted home value growth, days on market, share of homes sold above list price, and month-over-month sale counts.

Here are the 12 most in-demand, mid-sized housing markets to watch:

1. Boise, Idaho

Population: 616,561

Typical home value: $334,965

Boise has been a city to watch for the past few years now due to its affordable living, yet active, though modestly sized, downtown and easy access to nature. Home values increased 11.8 percent from last year and are expected to grow 5.6 percent through next year.

2. Huntsville, Alabama

Population: 417,593

Typical home value: $203,242

Home values in Huntsville, home of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, have spiked 11.5 percent compared to last year and are predicted to rise 5 percent over the next year.

3. Ogden, Utah

Population 597,159

Typical home value: $344,816

With quick access to Utah’s great outdoors, Ogden has become a popular market with 41.5 percent of homes selling above asking price. With that kind of demand, Zillow expects home values in the area to increase 4.6 percent in the next year.

4. Spokane, Washington

Population: 527,753

Typical home value: $293,655

Like Ogden, Spokane has seen demand rise recently, with 45.1 percent of homes selling above asking price. The bustling metro area on the eastern side of Washington state also has a vibrant microbrewery and winery scene, which adds to its charms.

5. York, Pennsylvania

Population: 434,972

Typical home value: $195,837

The market in York, the U.S.’s first capital, has boomed recently with home sales increasing 75.7 percent from the previous month and 17.7 percent from one year ago.

6. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Population: 645,613

Typical home value: $336,927

Colorado Springs is another city that’s made hot market lists repeatedly in recent years. Since last year, home values in the metro have increased 9.5 percent and are forecasted to rise 4.8 percent in the next year.

7. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Population: 519,445

Typical home value: $242,009

Lancaster offers both city and country vibes with close proximity to bars and restaurants but also easy access to green, open spaces. Sales increased 78.6 percent from last month and homes typically go under contract in seven days.

8. Modesto, California

Population: 514,453

Typical home value: $340,762

Modesto is another market where homes are going above asking price — 39.1 percent of homes, to be exact. Zillow expects home values to increase 4 percent over the next year.

9. Syracuse, New York

Population: 662,577

Typical home value: $154,596

As some homeowners seek to exit the congestion of New York City for more spacious areas, Syracuse might be one city they flock to, with its varied downtown neighborhoods and close proximity to nature trails and lakes. Home values have increase 6.8 percent from last year, and Zillow anticipates those may rise 4 percent within the next year.

10. Visalia, California

Population: 442,179

Typical home value: $232,800

Located in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, roughly 200 miles southeast of San Francisco, Visalia offers great access to the outdoors. Home values have risen 7.5 percent since last year and are anticipated to rise another 4.3 percent in the next year.

11. Portland, Maine

Population: 514,098

Typical home value: $334,650

Portland offers a bustling and compact downtown with a vibrant arts scene and ocean access. Nearly 40 percent of homes have recently sold above list price, and values are up 7.5 percent from last year.

12. Lansing, Michigan

Population: 464,036

Typical home value: $170,011

Michigan’s capital, Lansing, is also seeing an active market, with sales up about 68 percent month-over-month, and 40 percent of homes selling above asking.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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