The Rise of Urban Centers in New York: Fast Growing and Up and Coming Cities

By Ciprian Morariu Published: April 29, 2024

New York Fast-Growing and Up-and-Coming Cities

Overview of the Real Estate Market in New York

The charm and allure of New York is unlike any other metropolitan city in the world, it is truly a one-of-a-kind place that continues to attract residents, migrants, tourists, and investors.  

One of the most sought-after destinations in the country, New York is globally recognized as a melting pot of culture, business, entertainment, skyscrapers, and much more.

Being the epicenter of everything amazing, New York continues to be one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S. 

When one thinks of New York State’s real estate landscape, many people assume that it is only New York City that attracts buyers and investors. 

However, there is much more to the state’s real estate landscape than NYC as there are emerging opportunities for short and long-term perspectives. 

The ‘Empire State’ is home to many flourishing cities and neighborhoods witnessing high demand for residential and commercial real estate.

From the sandy beaches to the lake shores, from the luxurious stretches to booming boroughs, New York State offers an eclectic mix of beautiful scenic landscapes and naturally beautiful views. 

Be it the large cities in New York or the smaller urban towns and cities, the real estate market continues to bounce back to its pre-pandemic level, despite having a cool-down period. 

The sheer diversity of the state has become a huge plus point for investors looking for varied opportunities with positive returns. 

Most people think New York only has an industrial, concrete charm to its credit but the state has much more to offer than that. 

It is brimming with historic and cultural attractions and many expansive wonders which continue to attract people.

Be it the Adirondacks and the Finger Lake or the Rochester Museum and Central Park, there is a lot to see and know about New York State. 

If you are eyeing the dynamic, resilient, and diverse real estate market of New York for investment, you are making the right choice. 

However, investing in New York requires a deep understanding of the existing and emerging property markets. You should also take professional advice in this regard from a holder of a real estate license in New York

The two main steps, among others to obtain a real estate license in New York is to first go through the New York real estate license course and then pass the licensing exam. Aspiring agents might either select an online New York real estate course or study in a classroom environment.     

In this article, we are going to dive deeper into the current state of New York real estate and how you can choose your next big bet in one of the world’s hottest property markets. 

Fastest Growing Cities in New York

Buffalo - A Revitalized Waterfront

One of the fastest-growing cities in New York is Buffalo, an urban area located right in the heart of the Great Lakes region of New York state. 

Real estate in Buffalo is witnessing a significant increase every year and is poised to appreciate by 5 percent in value by the next year. 

Currently, the median listing price of a home in Buffalo is around $250K, which is significantly lower than the national average. Even the average rent in Buffalo, which is around $1.5K, is considerably lower than the median rental in the U.S. 

Due to the affordability, increasing number of job opportunities, and proximity to important avenues, Buffalo’s real estate market has been a huge hit amongst the younger population. 

According to Zillow, Billow is slated to become one of the hottest real estate markets in 2024, thanks to the strong employment opportunities and a favorable economic outlook. 

On top of it, Buffalo’s real estate market is going to gain strength due to increasing trade with the Toronto-Ontario region and the government approval of building an upcoming semiconductor highway project. 

Once a neglected waterfront, Buffalo’s revitalization has marked a historic turnaround of events. 

The housing market is buoyed by the rapid influx of skilled migrants who want to move to New York State to experience a diverse community and prosperous way of life. 

Homeowners and buyers want to be a part of one of the large cities in New York like Buffalo and participate in a dynamic, growing economy. 

Thanks to the combined investments in education, healthcare, and technology, the region is brimming with opportunities for short and long-term investment in real estate. 

Overall, Buffalo’s affordable real estate prices combined with a positive job outlook make it one of the most promising investment opportunities. 

Rochester - Innovation and Education

Rochester City in New York is on the list of the most promising up-and-coming areas in New York with immense potential to become a highly sought-after property market. 

Fondly known as New York’s cultural capital, Rochester brings together the amalgamation of old-world, small-town charm with futuristic, big-city culture in one. 

Currently touted as one of the most sought-after markets by millennials and young professionals, one of the most important factors behind Rochester’s rising popularity is its booming technology sector. 

Rochester’s strong economy is also contributing to its real estate growth. The city’s GDP witnessed an impressive growth of around 30 percent in the last decade. 

Rochester is home to a high concentration of innovative manufacturing facilities and development centers boosting the economy. 

The presence of a vibrant technology sector and world-class talent has buoyed Rochester’s innovation index and has made it the number-one market for patents in the country. 

Innovative startups, especially in cybersecurity are also finding their home in Rochester and a lot of the city’s economic growth can be attributed to their presence. 

Rochester also houses many leading research universities which breeds new initiatives and strategic partnerships for the future. 

Industry data reveals that the city is home to the highest number of STEM degree holders per capita of any metropolitan city in the country. 

With more than 55 percent of residents holding a college degree, the city’s employability rate is among the highest across the country, making it one of the stronger job markets in the U.S. 

The median home prices in Rochester have been rising since 2020, indicating a strong demand for single and multi-family homes, townhouses, condos, and apartments. 

Currently, the median listing price for a Rochester home is around $140K, which is significantly cheaper than other metro areas in New York. 

Rental homes are also gaining strong traction as the economy continues to grow. 

Currently, the city is known for being a seller’s market which indicates that upcoming migrants and residents will opt to rent homes in Rochester. 

For real estate investors, this indicates a strong demand for rental properties in the near short and long term. 

Albany - Government and Tech Growth

Albany is located strategically as the ‘Tri-City area’ on the west bank of the Hudson River, almost 150 miles away from NYC. 

Historically known as a city having an uptown, lively vibe, Albany is home to both modern as well as historical towns and neighborhoods. 

The city brings together a blend of a popular metropolitan city which has shades of an old world, remote town feel. 

The region is known for offering an eclectic culture combined with world-class cuisine, and restaurants and vintage historical galleries. 

Unlike the top populated cities in New York, the homeownership rate in Albany is a tad bit less than 40 percent. 

Currently, the city’s population is around 100K with a 3 percent population increase since the last decade. 

Due to a strong network of government-led hospitals, colleges, schools, and job opportunities, Albany’s real estate market is supported by the investments made by the government sector. 

Albany’s real estate prices are relatively stable and more affordable compared to other metros in New York. 

As of 2024, the median listing price for a home is around $160K which has increased in value since the last decade. 

Even rental home prices are not inflated in Albany, with a median rent of around $900 in 2024. 

Although the median rent prices have increased by around 60 percent in the last two decades, the city is still relatively cheaper and affordable.  

Many experts believe that due to the relatively high poverty rate, investing in Albany’s real estate market might not be profitable in the short term. 

However, in the long term, the city’s economy is favorably positioned to benefit from government initiatives and a rapidly expanding technology sector. 

These new developments will boost Albany’s economy and create more job opportunities in the region. 

In turn, the relatively cheaper rent and affordable housing will also attract skilled workers and migrants to Albany. 

Up and Coming Areas in New York

Hudson Yards, NYC - A Mega Development

If you have been following New York’s real estate market, you might have heard about the upcoming, mega real estate development program known as the Hudson Yards. 

Touted as the most ambitious and grandest among all the up-and-coming areas in New York, Hudson Yards is the country’s largest mixed-use real estate project in history. 

Situated in the heart of Manhattan, New York’s most popular and promising real estate market, it is the culmination of years of planning to create an urban wonder consisting of 16 skyscrapers spanning the city’s coastline. 

The total construction cost for developing the entire project is estimated at around $2 billion. Many experts have commended the project’s scale, vision, and grandeur and applauded its sustainability and planning initiatives. 

For luxury real estate developers and investors, it does not get any bigger or better than the Hudson Yards. 

With a sprawling 700,000 sq. feet of lush space dedicated to a shopping mall, Hudson Yards brings together the best and choicest of luxury brands, fine dining restaurants, and dining venues. 

Hudson Yards brings together world-class entertainment and recreational amenities and choices for the wealthiest few. From casinos and betting palaces to shopping malls and offices, the hottest new destination has it all in one place. 

It is also home to 120+ ultra-luxury apartments including studios and penthouses designed by world-renowned architects and interior designers. 

The ostentatious and larger-than-life physicality of Hudson Yards is a testament to the massive pool of real estate investment involved to give it life.

Catering to the wealthiest 1 percent, the Hudson Yards is an epitome of ultra-luxury residential, commercial, work, and leisure real estate. 

Inside the mega project that is Hudson Yards, there are specific buildings like the One Hudson Yards, 10 Hudson Yards, 15 Hudson Yards, and so forth. 

These massive skyscrapers have been designed for specific and mixed-use purposes and they attract hundreds and thousands of visitors every single day. 

Touted as the priciest neighborhood in New York City, investing in Hudson Yards’ real estate market is not for the faint of heart. 

The forecast indicates that the real estate project is poised to deliver an impressive 7 percent return on investment by 2025.