Raleigh ranks 3rd in US for cheap cities seeing relocation boom amid COVID-19 pandemic

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As many Americans flock to new cities amid permanent work from home assignments or losing and starting new jobs, the towns where they are relocating are becoming known as "Zoom cities" or "Zoom towns."

24/7 Wall St. identified America's cheapest cities where everyone wants to live and listed Raleigh as one of the top areas in the nation experiencing the Zoom city phenomenon mainly due to a lower cost of living and high quality of life.

"Coming to this area, it's really easy because the cost of living is really low. It's close to the beach close to the mountains for weekend getaways and compared to the bigger cities, they're getting a bargain here," said Heidi Harris, founder of Home Sweet Heidi realty group. "We just last week, we had a couple from California, and their eyes were wide open of like 'Wait you can get all this and that can be in a community that's in a school district that I like?'" Harris said.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the cost of living, housing affordability and population growth from migration for 110 U.S. metro areas. Cities were ranked based on the net income searches relative to outgoing searches for homes in each metro area among prospective buyers using Redfin.

According to the findings, Raleigh ranked third on the list of 20 cheap cities with the cost of living 3.4% lower than the U.S. cost of living. At the same time, the area's median household income of over $80,000 annually exceeds the U.S. median by more than $14,000.

"The bang for the buck is huge here because you can get a lot more house and a lot more land," Harris said. "So, as long as you have wifi, Raleigh, North Carolina is the place to be," Harris said.
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