Engel & Völkers Releases Luxury in the Heartland Trend Report

November 1, 2022
The interior of a modern luxury home.

The luxury real estate brand spotlights eight markets in the center of the United States primed for growth

Engel & Völkers released today an original market report, In the Heart of America, overviewing eight markets in the center of the United States with housing and lifestyle offerings that are attracting buyers from coastal markets. Based on research from Engel & Völkers Americas, the eight markets identified are Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock, Des Moines, Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri), Omaha, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Tulsa.

As many continue to take advantage of remote work practices, buyers are searching for homes that can provide them closer access to family and outdoor activities. As buyers are being priced out of many coastal markets, they are turning inward to the heart of America. The markets featured have a substantial business presence from Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies as well as startups, booming food and beverage scenes, and access to outdoor amenities including local and national parks.

Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas refers to five metro areas in Benton and Washington Counties: Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Springdale. It is one of the fastest-growing economies in the U.S., home to three Fortune 500 companies and numerous other businesses. The region has experienced 24.2% population growth since 2010 and has ranked several times as one of the best places for living and doing business.

Little Rock

In addition to Little Rock proper, this region of Central Arkansas also includes the communities of Cabot, Conway, Benton, Bryant, Jacksonville, Maumelle, and North Little Rock/Sherwood. As in other areas of the country, prices have increased with high buyer demand and low inventory across all price points. However, Little Rock remains comparatively affordable. Home prices were up 17.6% year over year in June 2022, with a median price of $255,000, while the median price of homes sold in the U.S. in 2022 is $428,700. Real estate here is appreciating in value and does not experience the extreme ups and downs that may impact markets in other areas of the country, appealing to both current residents and out-of-state investors.

Des Moines

The housing market in Des Moines was experiencing significant growth even before the housing boom that gripped the nation in 2020. This growth has continued, with the median home price increasing 7.3% year over year to reach $188,026 in September 2022. It is also ranked the 14th best place to live in 2022-2023 by U.S. News and World Report, based on factors such as affordability, quality of life, and job opportunities.

Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri

In the greater Kansas City metro area, spanning across the Kansas/Missouri state line, home values have appreciated 102% over the last decade. According to MLS data, in the last year alone, the median home price throughout the Kansas City Metro has reached $315,000. While home prices are currently at their highest level in years, they remain below the national median home price, and with market growth expected to continue, the opportunity remains for both buyers and real estate investors. Inventory is varied, offering buyers everything from a small loft located in the heart of downtown to large homes on multiple acres further outside of the city.


Omaha has seen its median home prices rise nearly $100,000 since 2016. Omaha has a homeownership rate of 58.3%, ranking above the national average. It is one of the top 30 places to live according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2022-2023 ranking based on the cost of living, quality of life, and job prospects.

Oklahoma City

A growing cosmopolitan center with a burgeoning food scene, strong economy, and highly rated schools is making Oklahoma City an increasingly desirable market that has experienced 48.25% price growth since 2018. While inventory may be low, rising interest rates have cooled some buyers, and a dollar will still buy residents a lot more “house” when compared to the national market. Home values are also increasing, with the median home price up 14.6% year-over-year to reach $267,000 in June 2022, according to MLS data.

St. Louis

Over the past two years, the St. Louis housing market has experienced dramatic price increases amidst extremely low inventory levels. However, currently, St. Louis County is on the upswing for home values and inventory, as is St. Charles County at a slightly lower price point. While inventory is opening up quite rapidly, prices are still continuing to rise but at a slower pace. New builds tend to be rare, save for the outer reaches of St. Charles County.


Like many other areas of the country, over the past two years, home prices in Tulsa have risen at a faster and higher pace than ever before and market absorption rates have shrunk to record lows. However, while the market remains strong, it is beginning to level off as buyer demand dips but prices remain stable. In fact, according to MLS data, in June 2022, Tulsa home prices were up 7.8% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $283,000.

“As the way consumers live and work continues to evolve, new markets are beginning to grow prominence on a national scale,” said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “Luxury is the ability to live a lifestyle you enjoy, and for many, that means looking toward markets such as these, which provide the  freedom to pursue their chosen lifestyles with greater purchasing power to invest in a home.”

To download the full report, click here.

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