It’s no secret the Triangle is growing significantly. Raleigh-Durham is already ranked one of the fastest-growing metropolitan regions in the country, and Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., an economic and demographic data firm, reports the Triangle will be one of the fastest-growing locations—expanding by nearly 80 percent—in the next 40 years.
With that kind of expected growth, it’s the area’s small towns and suburbs that will provide the most opportunity for growth in the region. According to 2020 Census data, many of the Triangle’s small towns have increased significantly over the past 10 years. Rolesville saw a 125 percent growth, Knightdale grew by 56 percent, Clayton by 53 percent, and Wendell and Mebane by 47 and 42 percent respectively.
However, new towns are appearing on the horizon as builders look for communities that will entice buyers eyeing the Triangle. If you’re thinking about a move, keep these locations on your radar.
Four Oaks is steeped in Civil War history and is filled with natural areas for hiking, canoeing, hunting, fishing, and more. It’s located just 33 miles from downtown Raleigh and is part of the booming Johnston County. Housing in Four Oaks is still modestly priced for the region, and commutes to the city will be easy when the North Carolina Department of Transportation completes the Southeast Extension of I-540. Johnston County is where the biggest bulk of growth is happening in the Triangle, thanks largely to Clayton, which grew by more than 7 percent over the last year.
Benson is another up-and-coming town in Johnston County that newcomers to the region are finding is a great place to call home. Despite its small size of 3,600 people, it’s home to outstanding dining, a distillery, a brewery, and vineyards, as well as distinct shops. Seasonal attractions like its annual Mule Days Festival, summer concerts, and strawberry picking make it an idyllic place to call home.
Just east of Raleigh, Wendell is a part of Wake County and is known for living up to its motto: Small Town, Big Charm. This town is pushing toward 10,000 people and features an inspiring downtown with eateries and shopping, as well as regular festivals like an International Food and Music Festival, Wendell Wonderland, and more. It’s a great location for families and young professionals looking for something a bit more affordable.
One of JAG’s Wendell projects is the peaceful Andrew’s Landing, which includes just 24 homes for a quiet place you’ll love.
Franklinton, part of Franklin County, is north of Wake Forest and just 30 miles from Raleigh. As the Triangle continues to explain, Franklinton is experiencing massive growth, particularly as developers have identified this community as an up-and-coming location for new homes. This town of 2,500 has a small town charm with convenience to Raleigh. Franklin County is also home to Youngsville and Louisburg, which are rapidly growing as well. In fact, the county came in just behind Johnston County for population growth, at 4.6 percent.
JAG currently has two major projects in Franklinton. Sutherland Station features spacious single family homes from 2325 square feet as well as community amenities like a fitness center and swimming pool. Gill Farm is also a great location, where you’ll find homes with offices and flex spaces to ensure your work/life needs are met.
Fuquay-Varina used to be a farming community, but this town is now more than 30,000 people and will continue to grow massively. It’s home to two downtown locations, with numerous hot spots for eating, shopping, and exploring. Located in southern Wake County, it has a charm that’s undeniable. The community features numerous craft beer locations, a ton of history, and annual events like a spring and fall concert series, its Independence Day Celebration, and more. It’s also a quick drive to the Research Triangle Park and to downtown Raleigh.
Judd Reserve in Fuquay-Varina is a beautiful, close-knit community featuring expansive, customized homes from an award-winning builder team.
Angier saw the most significant growth in the Triangle area, expanding by 7.8 percent in one year alone. Now home to nearly 6,000 people, this Harnett County community is just 22 miles from Raleigh and 15 minutes from Fuquay-Varina. It’s likely this town will continue to experience massive growth as developers continue to source land throughout this area.
Additional locations throughout the Triangle
There are numerous other communities that are already opening doors to welcome new residents. On the east side of Raleigh, Zebulon has a Minor League baseball team, outstanding cuisines, a distillery, and long-standing family businesses that add to its charm. Northeast of Raleigh, Rolesville is Wake County’s second oldest township behind Raleigh and is stepped in history and family-friendly tradition.
In proximity to Durham are several small communities that have experienced sudden growth as well. Mebane, located between Durham and Greensboro, has a focus on downtown revitalization to give its downtown businesses a chance to thrive. Hillsborough draws in writers and artists and has numerous agrotourism opportunities for Triangle residents. And Pittsboro, just south of Chapel Hill, offers unique restaurants, deep history and nostalgia, and proximity to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area.
The thing to remember
There are incredible opportunities for potential homeowners across the Triangle. It pays to be open minded and to look for the places that are growing to find your perfect place in the Raleigh-Durham area.
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