Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and the state’s second largest city with a population of nearly half a million residents. It’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and was one of the nation’s first-ever planned cities. U.S. News and World Report named Raleigh one of the 10 best places to live and 15 best places to retire.
Industry in Raleigh
As part of the state’s Research Triangle region, Raleigh’s major economic driver is high-tech, textiles and biotech research. The city is also the hub of the state’s grocery industry and was named by Forbes as one of the best career cities in the U.S. in 2015. Major employers include the state of North Carolina, the Wake County Public School System and Red Hat software company.
Living in Raleigh
In addition to the availability of jobs and the proximity to research and education, Raleigh growth has been driven by its ample green space and access to arts and culture. The city is home to more than 200 public parts and the state’s symphony and art museum, as well as more than 150 miles of hiking and biking trails. As for commuting, residents enjoy free public bus transportation throughout Raleigh and Durham as well as two light rail lines.
Buying a Home in Raleigh
In the first quarter of 2019, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that the Research Triangle’s notoriously hot real estate market is beginning to slow thanks to rising interest rates. Affordability in Raleigh can be a challenge, especially for first-time home buyers. The paper reported that over the past five years, the availability of homes under $150,000 in the city has decreased by 95 percent. The median home value in Raleigh is $273,400, with an increase of 5.8 percent over the past year and a price per square foot above the state average. Although the cost of living in Raleigh is below the national average, housing prices are well above.