A new report from realtor.com released Thursday found that strong housing supply and demand dynamics driven by affordability, are expanding local economies. In addition, lifestyle benefits are spotlighting markets and attracting new buyers.
Realtor.com released their list of 10 Hottest ZIP Codes, finding that healthy housing dynamics, strong local employment, and neighborhood "it factors" make these zip codes attractive markets to buyers.
Realtor.com's hotness ranking is determined by the time it takes properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each zip code. The zip codes 02176 (Melrose, Massachusetts), 43085 (Worthington, Ohio), and 58103 (Fargo, North Dakota) have pushed past one of the nation's most recognizable postal codes and 32,000 others across the U.S. to top realtor.com's list.
"Each locale on this list is emblematic of the key trends driving housing this year–healthy local economics, job opportunities and affordability," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. "For first-time home buyers, these communities provide great opportunities to enter the housing market, build a career, and raise a family; older generations are able to build wealth and enjoy a variety of lifestyles."
According to realtor.com, supply and demand are about five times stronger than the rest of the country in each top-ranked zip codes. These homes usually sell four to nine times faster than the national average, with days on market 20 days, lower than their respective metropolitan statistical areas. In addition, listings in each area are viewed three to eight times more often than overall U.S. listings, and an average of 2.3 times more often than their respective metros.
Centennial, Colorado reported the nation's lowest median age of inventory, with homes selling in approximately two weeks, Realtor.com reports.
Realtor.com also found that more money means more jobs and income and employment contribute heavily to the strength of the housing markets in these zip codes.
Median household income among the Top 10 is $71,000, 20 percent higher than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and 32 percent higher than the national average of $54,000, realtor.com says. Further, 32 percent of households earn $100,000 or more, 22 percent higher than their respective markets and one-third higher than the national average of 23 percent. Additionally, unemployment rates in these metros have dropped five times faster than other metros in the country in just the last year.
Millennials also have some favorable options to consider within these top zip codes when purchasing a home. The median income of people ages 25-34 years old in these zip codes is 26 percent higher than their respective metros, and 50 percent higher than the national average, according to realtor.com. In half of these areas, millennials earn 35 percent more than other age groups in the same zip code.
"Choosing a neighborhood to call home is not just a product of economic factors; it's an intensely personal decision," Smoke said. "Non-economic 'it factors' such as strong school systems, short commutes and access to public transportation, as well as close proximity to shopping and restaurants also play an integral role in each market's popularity."