best raleigh neighborhoods

The Best 15 Neighborhoods in Raleigh: Finding Home in the City of Oaks

North Carolina

by Matt Lyons Posted on June 27, 2023
Raleigh — the City of Oaks — has been ranked as one of the top 20 places to live in the country. That comes as no surprise, considering North Carolina’s capital city is home to Research Triangle Park, making it a hot spot for new research and development. Its job market is one of the hottest in the country, bringing with it plenty of opportunities in tech, science, research, innovation, and even hospitality. But where are the best neighborhoods in Raleigh, and how affordable are they?

First things first, finding a place to settle down isn’t hard in Raleigh, but it’s important to know how affordable it is before you move there. To put it in perspective, the average home price is around $431,400, while the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,425.

Now onto the neighborhoods.

Best Neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh is a city full of endless opportunities, with neighborhoods that can be the right fit for a variety of different lifestyles and preferences. Whether you’re on the hunt for great parks, close-knit communities, or family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Raleigh area. Our guide is here to take you through 15 of our favorite neighborhoods.

A cottage-like smaller brick home with three dormers and a covered porch sits between two larger, multi-story houses in Forest Park.

1. Forest Park

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,725
  • Median home sale price: $670,000
  • Great for: Shopping, restaurants, beautiful homes, families, retirees
  • The Forest Park (formerly known as Cameron Park) neighborhood is located on the western part of downtown Raleigh, and it's filled with colonial and American history. Many of the houses in this area still have Colonial Revival designs.

    There are also plenty of shops within walking distance of one another, so it’s easy to spend a day out on the town. If you're craving some comfort food after a long day of shopping, head over to My Way Tavern for a delicious meal or David's Dumpling and Noodle Bar for a taste of Asian cuisine.

    2. Brier Creek

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,675
  • Median home sale price: $390,000
  • Great for: Shopping, restaurants, beautiful homes, families, retirees
  • Brier Creek is an affordable neighborhood situated north of Raleigh. It is known for its modern homes and convenient access to shopping centers, such as the Triangle Town Center and the Brier Creek Commons. It has a reputation for nice, suburban style and boasts of properties with plenty of space.

    If you prefer to live in an area that is not in the urban center of Raleigh, then Brier Creek would be a great place to call home. There are plenty of new construction homes and condominiums in this area, and it has plenty of open spaces and mature trees.

    3. Mordecai

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,650
  • Median home sale price: $647,600
  • Great for: Shopping, restaurants, beautiful homes, families, retirees
  • Although it's a fairly small neighborhood, Mordecai is one of the most historic areas in the entire Raleigh area. Andrew Johnson — the 17th president — was actually born here. It has a livability score of 79, making it the sixth best neighborhood in the area, and it earned this title as one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh due to its great education, healthcare, and a plethora of amenities. Mordecai Historic Park is one of the standout attractions in the area, where visitors can explore the oldest house in Raleigh.

    The green and red Raymond Lanier Memorial Park sign is shown.

    4. Boylan Heights

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,900
  • Median home sale price: N/A
  • Great for: Shopping, restaurants, beautiful homes, families, retirees
  • One of the most desirable neighborhoods in Raleigh is Boylan Heights. It's a historic district that began its development in 1907. There are various architectural styles that can be found in this area, such as Dutch Colonials, Queen Annes, and Foursquares with Craftsman detailing.

    The Boylan Heights neighborhood is situated west of downtown Raleigh and features the Dorothea Dix Regional Hospital. Since its residents value the community's sentimental value and monetary worth, the homes that go on the market for sale typically don't last too long.

    Boylan Heights is a great place to live for those who love art, as the annual Art Walk allows artists to showcase their creations on the porches of select homes. 

    Though housing market data wasn’t available for this neighborhood when this article was written, there was only one active listing in Boylan Heights and the seller was asking for $905,000.

    5. Village District

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,725
  • Median home sale price: $363,000
  • Great for: Shopping, restaurants, beautiful homes, families, retirees
  • The Village District (previously known as Cameron Village, Raleigh) is a great place to meet your needs in a convenient location. It’s located near NC State University and is west of downtown. It features a variety of local shops and restaurants, including the very popular Tupelo Honey and The Flying Biscuit Cafe. It’s also home to a state-of-the-art library that’s perfect for working in peace.

    The neighborhood offers a variety of shopping areas and views of the city skyline. It's ideal for people who are looking to buy their first home, as well as investors and college students.

    6. Stonehenge

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,500
  • Median home sale price: $618,800
  • Great for: Fun events, local amenities, families, retirees
  • Stonehenge is a great place to live with plenty of real estate options, including single-family homes and townhouses, which are close to Raleigh and the 540 area. There are also nice local amenities, such as the Seven Oaks Swim and Racquet Club, impressive Christmas light displays, and a Halloween parade.

    This area is great for retirees due to the variety of senior communities that it has to offer. Some of these include Springmoor, The Cypress, and Abbottswood at Stonehenge.

    A bird’s-eye view of office buildings in the North HIlls neighborhood of Raleigh, NC.

    7. North Hills

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,600
  • Median home sale price: $720,000
  • Great for: Shopping, parks, families
  • If you're planning on moving to Raleigh, then you'll most likely want to consider the North Hills neighborhood. This area offers a mix of both suburban and urban living, and it has plenty of great single-family homes for sale.

    The North Hills Mall is a prominent shopping center located nearby. It features restaurants, high-end stores, and a movie theater. There are also beautiful parks in the neighborhood, such as Shelley Lake Park.

    8. Wakefield

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,625
  • Median home sale price: $510,00
  • Great for: Commuters, shopping, schools, golf, families, retirees
  • If you're looking for a neighborhood with great proximity to downtown Raleigh and easy access to healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and good schools, then Wakefield might be the right choice. It's located in the northeast part of Raleigh and is around thirty minutes from the city center. If you're a fan of golf, then you'll want to consider picking up a round at The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation, right in your own neighborhood!

    9. Oakwood

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,500
  • Median home sale price: $655,000
  • Great for: Fun events, tight-knit community, families, retirees
  • Residents of historic Oakwood choose to live in this community because it offers a variety of affordable homes and is in a well-maintained central location. The area's narrow streets and tree-lined gardens make it feel like you are in a small town, but there are plenty of events to keep residents entertained — whether it’s the Fourth of July Block Party, the Samedi Gras celebration, or the Candlelight Tour, to name a few.

    The Oakwood Garden Club holds an annual tea party and garden tour for the public. And residents also meet for a potluck dinner on the last Sunday of each month.

    An apartment complex in Glenwood South, featuring three-story buildings that have both brick and siding.

    10. Glenwood South

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,900
  • Median home sale price: $582,500
  • Great for: Art, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, young professionals
  • The area around the neighborhood of Glenwood South, Raleigh, is known for its mix of art galleries, restaurants, residences, and stores, as well as its active bar scene. The young professionals who live and work in this area often find plenty to do when it comes to nightlife, and a popular location includes the Cornerstone Tavern. 

    Over 1,500 new residential units are currently under construction or are on the way in the area, which shows just how popular it is to live here.

    11. Heritage Point

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,500
  • Median home sale price: $565,000
  • Great for: Parks, young professionals, retirees, families
  • Located west of downtown Raleigh, the Heritage Point neighborhood is an upscale community close to Wake Forest that is full of white-collar professionals.

    The planners utilized a natural setting to design its neighborhoods and communities. Its many features include greenways, playgrounds, and bike paths. Its streets are lined with stately homes and trees. It's also convenient to major facilities such as Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

    12. Five Points

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,800
  • Median home sale price: $865,000
  • Great for: Entertainment, history, young professionals, families, retirees
  • Five Points district is located near the Mordecai, Raleigh, neighborhood. It's named after the five-point intersection of three main roads: Fairview, Whitaker Mill, and Glenwood. The Five Points district is close to some of the area's most popular attractions, the Raleigh Convention Center and the NC Museum of Art. Pullen Park features a carousel, which was once a part of an old amusement park.

    The Five Points Fountain is a popular meeting point for locals in this historic district. It is also home to some of Raleigh's finest establishments, such as The Raleigh Times Bar and Two Roosters.

    A bird’s-eye view of some of the beautiful properties in Hayes Barton, a well-established section of the Five Points area of Raleigh, NC.

    13. Hayes Barton

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $2,625
  • Median home sale price: $3,150,000
  • Great for: Parks, families, schools, gorgeous properties
  • Located north of downtown Raleigh, Hayes Barton is a well-established section of the Five Points area. Residents of Hayes Barton have easy access to various parks, such as Roanoke Park and Fred Fletcher Park.

    This area is also home to several top-rated schools, making it an ideal choice for families. With beautiful green spaces and lots of Colonial Revival homes, Hayes Barton is a highly sought-after community.

    While the median home sale price is shockingly high, it’s important to note that this number is based on recent sales (which happen to include some of the more expensive properties in the area). If we look at the median listing home price, which is $1.5 million, we can see that the homes currently available aren’t quite as pricey.

    14. Six Forks

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,575
  • Median home sale price: $686,900
  • Great for: Schools, shopping, entertainment, restaurants, young professionals, families
  • Six Forks is regarded as one of the best places to live in the state of North Carolina. With plenty of schools nearby and a low crime rate, it’s a great area for families. Because of this, the occupancy rate is consistently high. 

    Many of the houses in Six Forks were built during the 1980s and 1990s, making them modern compared to nearby historic districts. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to enjoy dining, shopping, and entertainment. Be sure to check out the Crabtree Valley Mall, or grab a bite to eat at the KAI Sushi & Sake Bar.

    15. South Park

  • Average rent (one bedroom): $1,625
  • Median home sale price: $485,000
  • Great for: Tight-knit community, parks, shows, young professionals, families
  • Situated near downtown Raleigh, South Park is on the rise as one of the best neighborhoods to live in the area. There are plenty of new projects finding their way to the area, as well as new stores and supermarkets that have recently been opening. While you won't find much of a busy urban feel in this area, its residents are known for their friendly and welcoming attitude.

    If you're looking for something to do in South Park, then you'll want to check out the local attractions. For instance, if you're a young professional skater, then you can head over to the Neighbor to Neighbor Skate Park. If you're looking for something a bit more cultural, then you can check out some performances at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

    A family is getting ready to unload their PODS portable moving and storage container at their new Raleigh home.

    Use PODS to Get to Your Dream Raleigh, NC Neighborhood

    After finding your ideal Raleigh neighborhood, have a portable moving and storage container from PODS delivered straight to your driveway. When you’re ready, PODS will pick it up and deliver it to your new residence. And the best part? One month of storage is included in the price of the container, so you can easily unload it on your own schedule without any rush!

    Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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