FILE - Durham, N.C.

Durham, N.C., skyline

(The Center Square) – Two North Carolina real estate markets have been named among the 15 best places in the U.S. to buy a home by the personal finances website WalletHub.

In its 2020's Best Real-Estate Markets report, WalletHub compared 300 cities across two dimensions: Real-Estate Market and Affordability & Economic Environment. Its data set ranged from median home-price appreciation to home sales turnover rate to job growth.

WalletHub categorized each city in its comparison by population. Large cities had more than 300,000 residents, midsize cities had 150,000 to 300,000 residents and small cities had fewer than 150,000 residents.

Durham ranked as the 11th overall best place to buy a home and the fourth-best midsize city to buy a home. Boise, Idaho; Frisco, Texas; and Gilbert, Ariz., finished ahead of Durham on the midsize-city list.

Durham was 17th in Real-Estate Market rank and 25th in Affordability & Economic Environment.

Cary ranked as the 15th overall best place to buy a home and the No. 6 midsize city. Tacoma, Wash., finished between Durham and Cary on the midsize-city list.

Cary was fifth in Affordability & Economic Environment rank and 29th in Real-Estate Market.

"It is not an easy time to buy as there is not that much inventory, and those homes which come on the market, fairly priced, go quick," said Ernest Hahn, chair and professor of real estate finance at the University of San Diego's School of Business. "But interest rates have never been lower, and, for long-term buyers, that can dominate the reasons to buy now."

Charlotte ranked sixth and Raleigh 15th on the large-city list. Greensboro was 48th and Winston-Salem 58th on the midsize-city list. Wilmington was 21st and High Point 31st on the small-city list.

Boise; Seattle; Frisco; Nashville, Tenn.; Gilbert; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; Spokane Valley, Wash.; Denton, Texas; and Renton, Wash., finished ahead of Durham and comprised the top 10 of the best places in the U.S. to buy a home.

Managing Editor

Jason Schaumburg is an award-winning, veteran editor who has been a journalist for more than 20 years. He spent a decade as the top editor in three northern Illinois newsrooms for Shaw Media and Pioneer Press.