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3 hot cities where jobs are plentiful yet housing is still affordable (for now)

CNBC logo CNBC 10/4/2018

The more people that live, and clamor to live, in a given city, the higher housing prices tend to go. In San Francisco, for example, one of the most populous cities in the country, the median home value is $1.3 million and median monthly rent is $4,500.That's more than six times the national median home value of $216,700 and two-and-a-half times the $1,655 national median rent.

Still, there are a few attractive and growing U.S. cities where business is booming and yet housing won't break the bank. That's according to real-estate site Trulia, which "dug into the data around jobs, population, development and home values across the U.S." to find three particular cities they deem "high-growth" and "way more affordable" in terms of housing than similar places.

CNBC Make It, using Zillow data, then identified the median home value and median rent in each city.

Here are three fast-growing cities with relatively affordable housing:

1. Raleigh, North Carolina

a train on the tracks in a city: Raleigh, North Carolina. © Provided by CNBC LLC Raleigh, North Carolina.

Population growth from 2012 to 2017: 12.3 percent

Employment growth from 2012 to 2017: 18 percent

Home value appreciation from 2012 to 2018: 37.8 percent

Median home value: $261,700

Median rent: $1,400

2. Charlotte, North Carolina

a river with a city in the background: Charlotte, North Carolina.© Provided by CNBC LLC Charlotte, North Carolina.

Population growth from 2012 to 2017: 10.1 percent

Employment growth from 2012 to 2017: 18.6 percent

Home value appreciation from 2012 to 2018: 48.3 percent

Median home value: $212,100

Median rent: $1,445

3. Austin, Texas

a small boat in a body of water with a city in the background© Provided by CNBC LLC

Population growth from 2012 to 2017: 15.3 percent

Employment growth from 2012 to 2017: 20.5 percent

Home value appreciation from 2012 to 2018: 57.2 percent

Median home value: $348,800

Median rent: $1,700

Related video: The income you need to afford a home in the biggest US cities

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Home values, as you can see, are indeed climbing in these cities. But compared with other growing or well-established cities, housing costs, for now, are still pretty reasonable.

"No one can deny that home values are rising in cities like Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina," says Trulia. "But the numbers don't lie: Compare Raleigh, North Carolina's, 37.8 percent home appreciation growth to Las Vegas' 114.2 percent, for example."

Or, take San Jose, California. Between 2012 and 2017, the population grew by 5 percent and employment grew by 14 percent. Unlike the above cities, though, appreciation rose a whopping 122 percent.

"When more people compete for fewer places," says Trulia, "price hikes are the natural result." And more people are moving to Raleigh, Charlotte and Austin, so prices are rising. In Raleigh, home values have gone up 5 percent over the past year, according to Zillow, and could rise another 5 percent in the next year. In Charlotte, home values rose 9 percent and could rise another 6 percent. In Austin, home values rose 7 percent and could rise 2 percent more.

For now, though, these cities generally remain a good deal.

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