RALEIGH – An analysis of the most populous 100 cities in the United States ranked Raleigh 11th and Durham 14th for those looking to move in order to take advantage of a fully remote-based job or career.

“I expect both markets to see another great year in 2022,” said Orchard’s regional sales manager for North Carolina, Meredith Gilley, in an interview with WRAL TechWire.  “I also expect many people to relocate to these areas because they offer a great place to work remotely, and there’s an influx of tech companies such as Apple opening up new campuses.”

But the two Triangle metropolitan statistical areas are outranked by that of Winston-Salem, which ranked second in the nation, and Charlotte, which ranked ninth.

The rankings report was conducted by Orchard and released earlier today.

The cities that appeared in the top 15 all “have robust job markets, lower costs of living, excellent home values relative to earnings, lots of entertainment and culinary options, and many homes with enough space to turn a spare bedroom into a home office,” a blog post announcing the analysis reads.

The report tracked data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, including unemployment rate, home value compared to earnings, percentage of monthly income spent on rent, self-employment rate, access to high speed internet, and availability of homes with at least two bedrooms, as well as proximity to amenities.

According to the report’s author, Eric Goldschein, each of these factors were rated equally, except for the two metrics used to track density and proximity to amenities.  After the analysis, the data was rescaled, such that the number one ranked city (Chattanooga, Tenn.) received a top score of 100.

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According to Goldschein, the four North Carolina cities that performed well in the rankings analysis did so due to low unemployment rates, a relatively low cost-of-living, and the high percentages of occupied homes with at least two bedrooms, which are better suited for remote work life.

Winston-Salem received a total “remote score” of 99.65, a clear second place in the report, as the city has a low unemployment rate (3.6%), higher-than-average self-employment rate (6.3%), and a moderate 22% rent-to-income measure, the study found.  Winston-Salem ranked second in the nation in an analysis earlier this year that sought to identify the top U.S. cities for women working in technology, the company noted in its blog post.

The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan statistical area ranked 11th overall, with a total “remote score” of 81.02 and the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan statistical area ranked 14th with a total “remote score” of 80.49.

The Durham-Chapel Hill MSA had the second highest rent-to-income measure of the top 15, with 25%, and the Raleigh-Cary MSA had a measure of 24%, according to the Orchard data set, which was shared with WRAL TechWire upon request.

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“Last month we saw that in both the Triangle, and Charlotte both had the median sales price significantly increase, while the number of new listings decreased,” said Gilley.  “We can expect that to be the trend going into 2022.”

The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan statistical area received a total score of 84.53, which Orchard noted in its blog post was bolstered by Charlotte’s ranking near the top in the number of homes with high speed internet service among the top 15 metropolitan areas studied.