Fastest Growing Cities in California

By Ciprian Morariu Published: April 24, 2024

Fastest Growing Cities in California

California is one of the most successful, live-able, and diverse cities in the world. 

Thanks to the stable economy, diverse landscapes, strong job outlook, and a booming culture, California’s real estate market is booming and recording a high influx of buyers, rentals, and investors. 

Real estate valuations are climbing higher than usual in the Golden State as compared to other states in the country. 

Both large cities in California as well as smaller ones are witnessing an outgoing rush of people migrating to the state. 

Post-pandemic, home sales and investments have quickly recovered to reach pre-covid levels. In fact, since the last few years, California has seen 3x net gain in the total number of migrants, with the total number reaching a whopping 100,000. 

Despite high interest rates and property prices, the rapid formation of new businesses and investment from organizations has led to a snowball effect. 

The rise in immigrant population is a testament to the fact that California’s popularity and charm are showing no signs of slowing down. 

Moreover, market research shows that homeowners are holding on to their properties for longer despite the noticeable loss of owner population in the state. 

Adding to that is the positive realtor sentiment as California continues to be a great destination for rentals and vacation homes too. In 2024, the market is projected to grow by 6 to 7 percent. 

But what exactly are the reasons behind California’s continued overcrowding and rising housing prices? 

Several factors are contributing to the real estate boom in California, not least the role of professionals with a real estate license in California

Why is this so? Without real estate agents and brokers, buying and selling real estate would not be possible. To get a license, aspiring real estate professionals must first go through the California real estate license course and pass the licensing exam. 

Though there are various options to complete the coursework, the online California real estate course is preferred as it offers the flexibility for any time study from anywhere.     

Whether you are a real estate agent or broker or someone interested in buying real estate in the Golden State, this article will help you understand the reasons behind the real estate rush. 

Insights into California’s Rapid Urban Expansion

Economic Opportunities Fuel Growth

Many top-populated cities in California are functioning as centers for high economic growth and development. 

California boasts of having one of the strongest economic growth with an estimated GDP of more than $3 trillion. 

Currently placed amongst the top 10 economies around the globe, California is a hub for economic growth and opportunities. 

Thanks to a diverse range of industries such as - technology, entertainment, tourism, and agriculture, California’s economic outlook remains stable and the state continues to prosper with each passing year. 

Home to the world-famous Silicon Valley, the state continues to be the beacon of innovation and leads the world with its entrepreneurial spirit. 

Silicon Valley continues to be the focal point of economic growth in the country as well as on a global scale. 

Path-breaking innovation in computers, semiconductors, internet, manufacturing, and consumer technology sectors has contributed to the rapid growth of income and higher standards of living for local and migrant workers. 

In 2024, California’s economy continues to be in top form, thanks to the low unemployment rates and higher wages, as compared to other popular states. 

The Golden State has regained around 85% of the migrant population leading to a strong labor market. 

Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure development plays a pivotal role in the economic and social growth of a place and its importance in boosting the real estate market cannot be overstated. 

California’s infrastructure development has been on a massive transformative trajectory with the emergence of new projects and initiatives. 

From starting multifamily infill development on vacant urban landscapes to developing adjacent and added units to existing homes, California’s infrastructure still has the potential to grow. 

Currently, more than $100 million worth of capital resources are invested in the development of rural and urban areas with water redistribution projects. 

The state is also focusing on reducing homelessness and increasing the capacity to house the unhoused. By developing housing for all income groups such as apartments, townhomes, duplexes, triplex, and fourplexes. 

California is providing both subsidized and unsubsidized housing options to tackle homelessness. 

On top of it, the state is building more transit hubs and investing in micro-mobility projects along with infrastructure for pedestrians. 

In addition to the above, California is also expanding space for parks, urban spaces, and forests. 

When it comes to infrastructure development, the state continues to invest in creating and expanding modern, clean, and resilient infrastructure. 

Quality of Life and Availability of Amenities

If one looks at all the fastest-growing cities in California, one is likely to see a common pattern - all of them have a high quality of life and a diverse range of modern amenities. 

California offers a diverse mix of beautiful landscapes, world-class entertainment centers, vibrant culture, and top-of-the-line comfortable amenities for residents. 

Plus, the weather is pleasant and a host of recreational and leisure activities make it a sought-after real estate market.  

The state offers a great mix of suburban retreats, vacation spots, green areas, and serene views which makes it perfect for a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle preferred by rich investors, high-earning individuals, and wealthy retirees. 

California offers plenty of public amenities, world-class education, fine dining restaurants, global cuisines, seamless public transit, and rich cultural institutions and museums. 

You can easily fill your day with interesting events and exciting excursions as California is one of the most popular cultural destinations on the West Coast. 

Safe neighborhoods and miles of natural trails are also enticing factors for many migrants and residents who are seeking the best of everything in one place. 

Many homeowners consider California a great place to start a family and purchase their first home. 

Due to the plethora of amenities offered by town planners, policymakers, and state authorities, the Golden State is highly sought after by residents and migrants who want a great quality of life for themselves and their families. 

The presence and rise of amenities also boost the growth of the economy which leads to a rise in wages, expenditure, and housing prices. 

Whether you are looking at single-family or multi-family homes, you can easily find state-of-the-art amenities and world-class facilities in almost all top-populated cities in California. 

Top Fastest Growing Cities in California

City 1: Overview and Growth Factors

Sacramento is one of the largest cities in California and has also been the fastest-growing in recent years. 

Emerging as an up-and-coming real estate hotspot, people from across the state are moving and migrating to this city. 

Currently placed as the 6th biggest city in the Golden State, Sacramento’s real estate market is on the rise, thanks to the significant increase in the population of the city. 

For the first time in history, the city has seen its total population increase beyond 500,000 residents, which is a testament to its growing popularity. 

If you are reading this and wondering what exactly are the reasons behind Sacramento’s rising popularity and growing real estate markets, let us take a closer look at some of the factors.

1. Affordable housing:

Sacramento’s public housing is very affordable, in comparison to many other popular cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

The average median price of a single-family home in the city is around $300K, which is relatively low when compared to the state average.

Another exciting development is the emergence of new affordable housing projects that offer more options for individuals seeking home ownership in Sacramento. 

Due to the relatively lower costs of living, it is comparatively inexpensive to rent an apartment or purchase a home in Sacramento. 

Even if you are considering purchasing a luxury property in the city, it is possible when the housing market pricing is not skyrocketing.    

2. Exciting job opportunities: 

Sacramento is emerging as the hotspot for tech-savvy and young professionals seeking dynamic, fast-paced, and exciting job opportunities. 

Sacramento is home to entrepreneurs and businesses who are flocking to the city due to its diverse culture, relatively cheaper cost of living, and lower costs to own and run a business. 

The Sacramento community of working professionals is expanding quickly and the city is home to a growing migrant population. 

The job market is stable and the wages are higher compared to other cities in California, this results in plentiful jobs which in turn attracts more skilled professionals. 

Sacramento’s healthy job market is a hugely influential factor in the booming real estate landscape of the city. It is becoming one of the most preferred destinations for working and living in California. 

3. Centralized location; 

Sacramento’s inherent advantage is the fact that it is near large cities in California like San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

For individuals who want to experience the best of what the Golden Gate State has to offer, living in Sacramento is highly feasible.

Due to its highly accessible location and proximity to cities like San Francisco, many first-time homebuyers and migrants prefer calling Sacramento their home. 

This is another factor that contributes to the city’s growing real estate market. 

City 2: Overview and Growth Factors

Los Angeles is another popular and rapidly growing real estate market in California. 

When it comes to quality of life and appeal, Los Angeles ranks among the top 5 among all cities in California. 

As of 2023, the average median home price in LA is around $900K, which is significantly higher than the California average home price of $400K. 

Despite that, housing in LA is affordable when compared to more expensive cities like San Francisco. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors driving real growth in LA: 

  • LA is home to a diverse economic landscape and an array of industries driving growth. From entertainment and tourism to technology and finance, there are a myriad of industries that continuously attract homebuyers and migrant workers. 
  • The weather is pleasant and warm and the city enjoys a sunny climate almost all year round. Due to the favorable climate, LA attracts visitors and permanent migrants from other states in the country seeking a better way of life. 
  • Los Angeles is home to beautiful beaches and scenic views perfect for vacation homes and rental properties. Being a global cultural hub, the city is rich with tourists from all over the globe fueling demand for real estate around the year. 

Overall, Los Angeles is known for its growing economy, favorable weather, and strong tourist attractions. 

It is considered one of the continuously growing cities in California as it offers something for everyone, despite their choices and needs. 

It is currently a seller’s market which means the demand for housing and vacation properties highly outweighs the available supply of actual real estate.