Looking to move to a great city in the South? Raleigh, North Carolina may be your best choice, particularly if you’re a young professional. Raleigh, aka ‘the City of Oaks’ for its shade-covered streets features a young population, family-friendly vibe, great nightlife, and a less expensive cost of living than the national average. It’s been consistently in the Top Ten of many Best Cities lists, and #3 in 2023.

Let’s dig in and find you Raleigh’s safest neighborhoods. Crime rates are surprisingly low, with property crime and violent crime (against people) noticeably lower than other North Carolina cities.

If you like what you see here, we’d like to help with a move to Raleigh. By the way, we’re Bellhop Movers, experts at local moves in Raleigh as well as cross-country Raleigh moves. We’d love to help with affordable moves.

Raleigh Overview and Stats

Raleigh Population and Demographics

Raleigh’s population in 2022 stood at 470,000 ranking it as the second largest city in North Carolina (behind Charlotte) and nearly twice the size of nearby Durham (297,000) and much bigger than ‘village-like’ Chapel Hill (62,000). It’s got comfortable big city amenities without all the boasting.

Raleigh anchors one-third of the ‘Research-Triangle’ – an early tech – engineering center – with North Carolina State University one of the best public universities (#25 according to Forbes in 2023). The population is more diverse, younger, educated and prosperous with higher median household and per capita incomes according to the U.S. Census. (Chapel Hill has significantly more Whites and Asians, and wealthier, older households.)

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Transportation: commuting times are less than national and state averages. From downtown Raleigh it takes 19 minutes on average to Raleigh/Durham Airport (RDU), served by a mix of national and international carriers. (Charlotte, North Carolina is the biggest hub after Atlanta in the Southeast).

Skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina | Affordable Suburbs of Raleigh

Raleigh Real Estate Home Values Compared to Others

Raleigh, North Carolina is a good place to shop for homes with great values, a healthy stock of single-family homes, bungalows, high rise apartments and condos. The Southeast builds homes with brick and you’ll find a large selection of classic ramblers nestled among oaks and pines. The median value of a home compares favorably, though higher than the national average:

  • Raleigh – $347,000
  • Durham – $316,000
  • Chapel Hill – $537,000
  • North Carolina State – $234,000
  • U.S. National Average – $281,900

Climate Safety

Raleigh shares the South’s humid subtropical climate so be sure to look for air-conditioning. It’s located in North Carolina’s central Piedmont section, a plateau of fertile soil. It’s far enough from the ocean that hurricanes and tropical storms are typically greatly diminished by the time they reach Raleigh.

Raleigh Crime Rates

Crime is reported by city to the FBI using crime rate standards established by the Bureau. The Bureau has changed how it counts and reports crime rates, so the cities have had to change also. This means that trends can be problematic. So can comparisons of crime rates between towns based on their size, staffing and willingness to report ‘bad news.’

Crime in Raleigh Is Declining

Raleigh’s police report that overall crime rates have dropped recently with violent crime dropping significantly:

  • Crimes against people (violent crime) – -4.7%
  • Crimes against property – +1.5%

There have been increases in auto theft and larceny, e.g. shoplifting. This crime rate trend is something we have seen repeated elsewhere in other cities nationwide.

Raleigh Crime Compared to other Major North Carolina Cities

Using FBI-reported crime data for 2019 (the most current), Raleigh can be viewed as a much safer city in which to live when compared to the five largest cities in North Carolina.

 CityPopulationCrime Against People (Per 000s)Crime Against Property (Per 000s)

Raleigh’s Safe Neighborhoods

Reporting crime by neighborhood can vary widely. We’re doing our best to rank the safest neighborhoods. Like we indicated above, Raleigh has a very low crime rate compared to other large North Carolina cities, so you have a lot of choices — from old and historic Downtown to newer communities in the outskirts. Many of these are in the north and northwest historic sections of town: Oakwood, Boylan Heights, Mordecai, Five Points, Glenwood-Brooklyn. These and Downtown Raleigh are vibrantly growing, adding condos and townhomes.


Mordecai is the oldest section of Raleigh, located conveniently just northeast of downtown. There is a great selection of older style homes in Mordecai from traditional and ranches, to Craftsman bungalows, Spanish Mission, and period revivals. The area is popular with younger families, professionals, and students. Homes in Mordecai list on Zillow at $663,000.

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Five Points

Five Points Is an older section of town with 90-year-old homes, within safe walking to Downtown Raleigh. Crime rates tend to be lower here than in Raleigh overall. There is plenty to do in Five Points with bars and nightlife entertainment venues. Many are dog-friendly like Lola’s Beach Bar with an outdoor patio. Zillow lists homes in Five Points at $754,000 as of early 2024.

Roanoke Park Historic District

An historic guide describes Roanoke Park as an early twentieth century “middle-class neighborhood emulating nearby upper-middle-class Hayes Barton.” Roanoke Park is one of the Five Points historic neighborhoods, situated southeast of the intersection with a median home value of $1.2M in October 2023 (Redfin).


The first master-plan community in Raleigh, Glenwood-Brooklynislocated just northwest of Downtown Raleigh’s business district within a five-minute jaunt. Glenwood-Brooklyn has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. There’s nightlife galore and plenty to do on Glenwood Avenue. Many community-building activities are planned by the neighborhood association. Homes range in value from $400,000 to $2 million.


Historic Oakwood is a walker-friendly older community east of Downtown with a great mix of food shops, progressive bars, pubs, restaurants, and nightlife. Oakwood is the only intact 19th century neighborhood and another great choice within easy walking distance of Downtown. There is a great mix of architectural home design choices with a median home price of $640,000. Oakwood is a great place to look for colonial and Craftsman bungalows.

Boylan Heights

One of the six historic overlay districts located southwest of Downtown Raleigh. It’s noted for its active community, art walk, historic National Register listing and a fun annual Halloween Party. Median listing home price: $484.5K.

Brier Creek

Brier Creek is a newer community northwest of Raleigh toward Durham. You’ll find many listing choices of townhomes, condos and separate single-family residences. Crime rates are low. Zillow shows an average listing price of $446,000 for the 27617 zip code. 

Hayes Barton

Hayes Barton is a desirable neighborhood minutes north of historic downtown. The homes are quintessentially classic colonial style in stone, brick, or wood and some of the highest priced homes in the greater Raleigh area. Hayes Barton median real estate price is $1,200,000. The few listings are highly competitive.

Cameron Village

Cameron Village / Hillsborough Is a neighborhood primarily of apartments and townhomes with interspersed single-family homes. The building is newer, and the residences tend to be smaller. It’s got a lively vibe and popular with college students at nearby North Carolina State University, singles, and young professionals, (with fewer families). Cameron Village / Hillsborough median real estate price is $785,000.

Runner Up Worthwhile Raleigh Neighborhoods

We want to mention these areas as Raleigh neighborhoods worth a look:

North Hills

North Hills just five miles north of downtown Raleigh, is a reimagined, modern, mixed-use development of condos and townhomes in an entertainment and business setting. It’s popular, and home values are 24% higher than in 2022. Redfin reports the median sale price of a home in North Hills as $795K.

Affordable South Park

South Park is part of Raleigh’s largest historic African American neighborhood and a designated National Historic District. South Park was featured in a NY Times article about historic Black areas becoming more White as they move into newly built homes. Niche.com shows a median home value of $390,000.

That’s a Wrap of Raleigh’s Safest Neighborhoods

These neighborhoods stand out among the many safe neighborhoods in the City of Oaks. If you have time to browse, you’ll find a lengthy listing of classic single-family homes and condos to choose from. Parents may want to check the school guide listed below. If you commute to work in the Research Triangle, you’ll find plenty of nearby listings to ease your commute, ( a key strategy as many companies shift from fully remote).

Learn More about Raleigh in our Curated Guides

Read our other guides to live in the City of Oaks. 

Ready to Make the Move to Raleigh?

Now that you know are you ready to go?  Just give us a call. We have local movers in Raleigh, and offer long-distance moving services to Raleigh as well. We can even take care of last-minute moves in Raleigh if you’re pressed for time.

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