Fall House Hunt

Looking to relocate in New England? See how the cities compare.

Cambridge ranks lowest in housing affordability.

Moving box on top of a map of the United States.
Americans looking to relocate can utilize Coldwell Banker's new tool to compare their current city with their dream location. Adobe Stock

Making the choice to relocate to a new city can be a difficult decision for many people.

Coldwell Banker’s new Move Meter tool compares data such as quality of living, housing affordability, job market strength, and living affordability. There are subcategories that are calculated to show the average score for each category.

So where are people coming from and where are they headed?

These are the top 10 cities people are looking to leave:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Denver
  3. New York
  4. Louisville, Ky.
  5. Chicago
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Allentown, Pa.
  8. Seattle
  9. San Diego
  10. Minneapolis

The top 10 cities that American’s have been dreaming to relocate to:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Charlotte, N.C.
  3. New York
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Nashville
  6. Tampa
  7. Raleigh, N.C.
  8. Seattle
  9. Atlanta
  10. San Diego

Why are some cities on both lists? They reflect a lot of turnover. Austin’s growing popularity, for example, has meant higher rental prices.


According to Coldwell Banker’s findings, the number of searches looking to move out of state has decreased in the past year from 82% in 2022 to 72.5% in 2023. The data indicate that many movers want to remain in their state but relocate to a new city. 

Housing Affordability

New England is not known for its affordable real estate market, but see how these cities compare in this category.

BostonWorcesterSpringfieldCambridgeProvidenceHartfordManchester, N.H.
Home price$691,800$342,200$235,400$972,300$310,500$139,800$341,000
Property tax0.72%1.67%1.78%1.22%1.87%2.3%2.22%
Home appreciation rate11.6%16.5%15.2%11.2%18.9%11.8%17.4%
Price per square foot$208.67$222.93$163.96$457.68$184.24$79.68$228.99
-Coldwell Banker

Quality of Life

Quality of life encapsulates a variety of criteria in the rankings calculations.

The education scores were based on publicly recorded data from local schools and colleges in the area.

The healthcare and fitness finds were based on access to care and fitness amenities.

The weather score used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Data Center on precipitation and temperature. The tool also uses the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality index.

The tool calculates the commute/transit scores based on mass transit data using five-year estimates.

The accessibility score was based on local resources, and culture/entertainment looked at nearby attractions.

BostonWorcesterSpringfieldCambridgeProvidenceHartford Manchester, N.H.
Healthcare and fitness100987192879282
Weather grade64605764656360
Air quality index68777073727180
Commute/transit score68596285596959
-Coldwell Banker

Job Market Strength

Hartford ranked lowest in all job market categories, while Cambridge scored close to the top across the board.

BostonWorcesterSpringfield CambridgeProvidenceHartfordManchester, N.H.
Unemployment rate4.7%5.8%8.8%2.9%5%8%2.2%
Recent job growth5.08%4.32%4.29%5.08%4.3%-4.17%1.26%
Future job growth index63523771483176
Median household income$71,120$48,140$39,430$103,150$45,610$36,800$60,710
-Coldwell Banker

Living Affordability

In the absence of a state income tax, Manchester, N.H., ranked as one of the most affordable cities.

BostonWorcesterSpringfieldCambridgeProvidenceHartfordManchester, N.H.
State income tax5%5%5%5%3.8%5.5%0%
Sales tax6.25%6.25%6.25%6.25%7%6.35%0%
Transportation cost85545355686948
-Coldwell Banker
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