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Since the start of the pandemic, an estimated 5 million Americans have relocated thanks to the flexibility of remote work, but rather than flocking to major cities, many have settled in mid-sized metros offering affordability and greater livability. The median household income exceeded $76,000 across the top 10 cities, and surprisingly, only one Sunbelt metro made the list.

Rochester, Minnesota reclaimed the top spot for the second year in a row thanks to its low 1.2% unemployment rate and fast growth. Cary, North Carolina is the only southern metro on the top 10 list with a low crime rate, a 4.7% poverty rate, and a median household income of nearly $107,500, SmartAsset reports.

Across all 214 cities in our study, two Silicon Valley cities in the top 10 (Sunnyvale and Santa Clara) have the No. 1 and No. 2 highest median household incomes ($150,464 and $136,870, respectively). Comparatively, the lowest median household income belongs to Dayton, Ohio ($34,457), which ranked in the bottom 10 cities.

Across the 214 cities in our study, the average four-year change in median home value is about 13%. Four cities had an increase exceeding 30%, with Palm Bay, Florida seeing the largest four-year growth in its median home value, at 33.90%.

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