Top Memorial Day Weekend Destinations: Ranked by Cost of Living

This weekend, Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial start to summer, and CoreLogic analyzed data to determine the 10 getaway destinations for travelers to pay attention to. CoreLogic’s study was conducted to help better understand these American cities’ housing markets, as well as their exposure to natural hazard risk.

The following 10 cities are worth looking at not only as vacation destinations, but also because they are highlighted in the monthly CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI). Note that the housing and rental data used in the analysis below was sourced from CoreLogic’s Real Estate Analytic Suite.

Still undecided and with no plans, CoreLogic suggests the following hot spots for your three-day weekend getaway.

Ranking the top 10 spots

Coming in at number one was the city of Boston. From visiting memorials dedicated to those who served the nation to a visit to Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, the oldest public arboretum in North America, the list of activities is extensive. With the Atlantic Ocean capping the eastern side of Boston, there are also plenty of water-related activities in which to partake.

However, Boston’s seaside living does have a downside in its concerns about flooding. Some Boston homes are at-risk for coastal flooding. While 148,005 homes in the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) have “Moderate” or greater risk of coastal flooding, and just 5% of the homes in the MSA have a “High” to “Extreme” risk of coastal flooding.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $638,251
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: 1.5%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $3,134
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 3.6%
  • Coastal Flood Risk: 96,254 homes have a “High” to “Extreme” risk of coastal flooding

In second place was the Windy City of Chicago. With approximately 2.7 million residents (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), Memorial Day vacationers may just find a favorite neighborhood to call home, but they won’t be alone, as housing prices in Chicago are on the rise.

While few can say they are charmed by the weather — Chicago is located in Cook County, where the risk of severe convective storms has the potential to produce $239 million in annual losses due to physical risk by 2050—it hasn’t deterred people from moving.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $304,561
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: 2.5%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $2,383
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 8.8%
  • Hail Risk: 76% of homes in the MSA have a “Moderate” risk of hail

The city of Denver ranked third, and although often associated with skiing, Denver is a worthy destination in the warmer months. People have flocked to this Rocky Mountain town over the last several years and called it home, as between 2020-2023, the population of Denver rose by 1.2%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

However, those moving to Denver should be aware of wildfire risk. And while the risk is relatively low in the more urban areas, low risk does not mean “no risk!” Within the MSA, 6% or 69,265 homes in the area do have “Moderate” or greater wildfire risk.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $563,067
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: -2.6%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $2,827
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 10.9%
  • Wildfire Risk: 6% of homes in the MSA have “Moderate” or greater wildfire risk

The Lone Star State city of Houston came in fourth on the list, a popular target for foodies and art aficionados. But art and food are not the only interesting things about Houston. America’s fourth-largest city is part of a bigger metro area sitting in Harris County, which CoreLogic models as number eight for the highest risk of annual losses in physical risk terms when viewed with the severe climate risk scenario.

However, this risk profile has not hindered Houston’s growth, as the U.S. Census Bureau reported it experienced the second-largest numeric population increase of any U.S. metro between 2022-2023. And this popularity is understandable, as compared with many areas of the country, home prices in Houston are a relative bargain.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $306,927
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: -3.0%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $1,814
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 2.3%
  • Hurricane Wind Risk: 76% or 2.07 million homes in the MSA have “Extreme” or “Very High” hurricane wind risk
  • Inland Flood Risk: 45% or 1.24 million homes in the MSA have “Moderate” or greater inland flood risk

Landing in the fifth-place spot was Las Vegas, a popular destination for those looking to the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip and experience desert vistas. Considered a popular destination for weekend getaways, new residents and homeowners have arrived in droves in recent years.

And although the Las Vegas landscape generally lacks water, there is a risk for concern when it does rain. According to CoreLogic data, 14% or 129,622 homes in the MSA have a “Moderate” or greater risk of flash flooding.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $414,200
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: -2.7%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $2,153
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 2.6%
  • Flash Flood Risk: 14% or 129,622 homes have “Moderate” or greater risk of flash flood

The City of Angels ranked sixth on CoreLogic’s list, as Los Angeles is the country’s second-largest city with a population of 3.8 million, it also offers the same perks that have long made Southern California a sought-after destination: a steady diet of sunshine, year-round mild weather, a diverse population, and no shortage of indoor and outdoor activities.

Those considering becoming permanent resident of Los Angeles should note that the city has both the highest median home sales price, and second-most expensive rental cost on this list. It is also the top U.S. metro vulnerable to wildfires, according to a recent CoreLogic analysis. CoreLogic notes that the risk of earthquakes is also worth watching, as in the Los Angeles MSA, 57% or 2.7 million homes have “Moderate” or greater earthquake risk.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $818,000
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: -0.6%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $3,600
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 2.6%
  • Earthquake Risk: 57% or 2.7 million homes in the MSA have “Moderate” or greater earthquake risk

Falling seventh on the list is Miami, a long popular destination with travelers due to its perpetually warm weather, beaches, clear water, and elite nightlife scene centered around the city’s South Beach neighborhood. And judging from real estate costs over the past few years, Miami is also extremely attractive to those in search of a new location, as of the 10 major cities included in CoreLogic’s analysis, Miami boasted both the highest home price and rental cost growth between 2022 and 2023.

Miami is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and the flooding that results, with a CoreLogic analysis showing that homeowners in the region could lose up to $7.9 billion in property values based on a severe climate-change scenario. And 2024’s Atlantic hurricane season has the potential to be a highly active one, as sea surface temperatures have reached a record high, bringing the possibility of stronger and more frequent storms.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $471,000
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: 9.9%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $2,900
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 12.9%
  • Hurricane Storm Surge Risk: 19% or 509,133 homes in the MSA have “Moderate” or greater risk
  • Hurricane Wind Risk: 78% or 2 million homes in the MSA have “Extreme” risk

Coming in eighth was Phoenix, Arizona, and while Phoenix’s housing market was as hot as its weather in the aftermath of the pandemic, it has since cooled significantly, though rent growth remains elevated.

If the weather cooperates, exploring the Phoenix area’s more than 41,000 acres of parks and preserves and 200 miles of trails can be an excellent way to take in the breathtaking Sonoran Desert landscape or the city’s Desert Botanical Garden.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $428,000
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: -2.9%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $2,400
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 8.1%
  • Wildfire Risk: 80% or 1.5 million homes in the MSA have “Low” risk

Occupying the ninth spot on the list, San Diego, with miles of beaches and a temperate year-round climate, has long been popular with both in-migrating homebuyers and visitors alike. As the nation’s eighth most-populous city and California’s second largest, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated San Diego’s population at 1.4 million in 2023, virtually unchanged from 2020.

San Diego ranked third for high to extreme wildfire risk in 2024, with more than 120,000 homes in potential jeopardy. As a California city near fault lines, earthquake risk is also on the radar for those in the area. In the MSA, 52% or 633,184 homes have “Moderate” or greater earthquake risk.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $806,000
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: 2.1%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $3,800
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 8%
  • Earthquake Risk: 52% or 633,184 homes have “Moderate” or greater earthquake risk

And rounding out the top 10, Washington, D.C. known for its U.S. landmarks, the Smithsonian Institution, and other major attractions, appeals to visitors of all ages. Within minutes of leaving the tourist traffic of downtown D.C., visitors will discover many diverse and bustling neighborhoods that feel light years away from the nation’s center of power. And if you opt not to take a road trip to D.C., the Metro railway offers easy access to two of the region’s major airports.

  • Single-Family Home Median Price in 2023: $518,000
  • Change in Median Price 2022 to 2023: 0.7%
  • Single-Family Median Rent (Three Bedroom) in 2023: $2,900
  • Change in Median Rent 2022 to 2023: 6.1%
  • Coastal Flood Risk: 0.41% or 10,365 homes have “Moderate” or greater risk

Click here for more information on CoreLogic’s analysis of the top Memorial Day destinations.

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Picture of Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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