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Top 10 hottest zip codes in America based on employment and housing data

Combining housing and employment data, the Top 10 hottest zip codes are laid out in black and white, with a few surprises on the list.

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When looking for affirmation that you’re moving to the right zip code, or simply hoping to bask in the glory of where you live, you look to trends. To dig deeper than the best performing cities, realtor.com actually analyzed zip codes to determine the top 10 Hottest ZIP codes, based on factors such as the health of the housing market, strength of local employment, neighborhood “it factors,” how long it takes for properties in the ZIP code to sell, and how frequently homes are viewed on realtor.com in each ZIP code. It sounds like a mix of science and a little bit of subjectivity (like “it factors”), but is interesting nonetheless.

“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.”

(Click any zip code below for a map.)

Rank ZIP code Name
1 02176 Melrose, MA
2 43085 Columbus, OH (Worthington)
3 80122 Littleton, CO (Centennial)
4 75023 Plano, TX
5 48375 Novi, MI
6 78247 San Antonio, TX
7 63126 St. Louis, MO (Crestwood)
8 78729 Austin, TX (Jollyville)
9 58103 Fargo, ND
10 92010 Carlsbad, CA

Homes move faster here than anywhere else

Supply and demand are five times stronger in these 10 zip codes than the rest of the nation, with homes selling from four to nine times faster than the national average. Listings in these zip codes average 45 percent fewer days on market and listings are viewed three to eight times more than overall U.S. listings.

This report indicates that the employment market is strong in these areas, with a median household income of $71,000 for the top 10, fully 20 percent higher than their surrounding areas and 32 percent higher than the national average of $54,000. Further, the share of households earning $100,000 or more is 32 percent, 22 percent higher than their respective markets and one-third higher than the national average of 23 percent.

Unemployment rates in these metros have dropped five times faster than other metros in the country in just the last year. Detroit and St. Louis are the only metros experiencing unemployment rates over five percent. These zip codes average 22 percent lower unemployment than their surrounding metro areas.

Strong markets for millennial buyers

“Each of the neighborhoods on this list provides favorable conditions for millennials considering a home purchase,” realtor.com indicates. “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. In half of these areas, millennials earn 35 percent more than other age groups in the same ZIP code. Novi, Mich., the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood, Mo., and Columbus suburb, Worthington, Ohio, rank high in affordability with the median household able to afford 60-70 percent of the inventory on the market.”

“Choosing a neighborhood to call home is not just a product of economic factors; it’s an intensely personal decision,” stated Smoke. “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.”

Market stats on the top 10:

02176 – Melrose is close to both Boston and Cambridge and has become a magnet for young professionals and families due to its relative affordability, access to public transportation and attractive downtown area.

  • Population: 27,690
  • Median income for households between the ages 25-34 years old is $88,000, 67 percent higher than the average millennial in the U.S.
  • Market unemployment dropped by 14 percent year over year in the last six months.
  • Median list prices in June 2015 were 5 percent higher than the surrounding metro, and grew 5 percent year over year in both May and June.

43085 – Worthington is a major relocation market. It benefits from being part of the Columbus, Ohio metro, which offers stable employment and is the headquarters of a number of financial services and insurance companies – such as Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Huntington Bancshares Inc. – as well as The Ohio State University.

  • Population: 13,837
  • Listings receive an average of 1,000 views per month – nearly three times more views than the rest of the metro, and seven times more than the national average.
  • Market unemployment is one of the lowest in the country – about 40 percent lower than the rest of the metro.
  • Median list prices in June were 26 percent higher than the surrounding metro, and grew 10 percent year over year during the first half of the year.

80122 – Centennial, a suburb of Littleton, is centrally located south of Denver at the intersection of I-70, which traverses the girth of the U.S. from Ohio to Utah, and I-25, which cuts a swath from New Mexico to Wyoming. Centennial boasts a major retail presence and proximity to the area’s largest employer, Lockheed Martin, and a new Charles Schwab campus opened in October 2014 that is expected to employ approximately 2,000.

  • Population: 30,457
  • Median income for 25-35 year old households is $88,000, 67 percent higher than the average millennial in the U.S. and 48 percent higher than the average millennial in the metro area.
  • Houses spend approximately two weeks on the market – the shortest number of days on market in the U.S.
  • Market unemployment dropped 20 percent year over year in the last six months.

75023 – Plano is a suburb of Dallas, and home to the corporate headquarters of Dell Services, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Ericsson and Frito-Lay Inc., as well as the future headquarters of Toyota Motors USA. Plano is also home to a new $2 billion, 240 acre mixed-use development, Legacy West, which is bringing more businesses and thousands of new jobs to the area.

  • Population: 46,733
  • Listings receive nearly 1,200 views per month on average, 2.4 times more views than the rest of the metro and eight times more than the national average.
  • Civilian labor force unemployment dropped 22 percent year over year over the last six months.
  • Share of $100,000 earning households is 36 percent and will increase to 40 percent by 2020 based on the latest five-year projections from Nielsen Demographics.

48375 – Novi is near the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Mich., the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Mich., as well as the Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., and is home to some of the region’s largest healthcare systems. It is centrally located with quick access to highways, the Detroit airport and a re-emerging downtown Detroit. The Novi Community School District is also a major draw for this ZIP code.

  • Population: 22,189
  • Median income for 25-34 year old households is $80,000, 50 percent higher than the average millennial household in the U.S.
  • Civilian labor force unemployment is 57 percent lower than in the rest of the metro, and has dropped by 30 percent year over year.
  • Median list prices in June were 22 percent higher than the metro.

78247 – San Antonio. Located in the city’s North Central district, 78247 is within San Antonio city limits that offers a suburban feel. San Antonio is home to the corporate headquarters of USAA, Valero Energy Corporation, Rackspace, NuStar Energy L.P. and Harland Clarke. Coined “Military City USA,” San Antonio has a large military presence with about 100,000 people employed by the armed forces.

  • Population: 49,514
  • Households and population have grown 7 percent in the past five years, two times faster than the rest of the country.
  • Share of $100,000 earning households is expected to grow by 15 percent by 2020.
  • Median list prices in June were 33 percent lower than the metro, and grew 7 percent year over year during the first half of the year.

63126 – Crestwood is a suburb of St. Louis. Home prices and quality of schools combined to propel Crestwood to No. 7 on the Top 10 list. The average cost of a home is about half the price of the neighboring ZIP codes of historic Kirkwood and Webster Groves. Crestwood is the most inexpensive community that feeds into Lindbergh Schools – a district that has received national honors and several state awards.

  • Population: 11,942
  • Median income for 25-34 year old households in this ZIP code is $73,000, 40 percent higher than the average millennial household in the U.S. and 38 percent higher than the average millennial in the metro area.
  • Civilian labor force unemployment is one of the lowest in the country and about 40 percent lower than the surrounding metro.
  • Home ownership rate is one the highest in the country at 84 percent, almost 20 percent higher than the U.S.

78729 – Austin, one of 78 ZIP codes in Austin, 78729 is located on the city’s north side, incorporating the residential Jollyville neighborhood, which offers prime access to many of the city’s major tech companies, including Apple, IBM and Dell. Jollyville feeds into one of the best school districts in the area, Round Rock ISD, and offers affordably priced homes, perfect for first-time buyers.

  • Population: 26,906
  • Median income for 25-34 year old households in this ZIP code is $73,000, 40 percent higher than the average millennial household in the U.S.
  • Share of $100,000 earning households is expected to grow 23 percent by 2020.
  • Population of millennials ages 25-34 is 23 percent, 75 percent higher than the U.S. average.

58103 – Fargo, a ZIP code that incorporates many smaller residential neighborhoods, 58103 is just southwest of Fargo’s downtown district. It is located just miles from the North Dakota State University campus, and provides many housing options for first-time home buyers. Ranked as the fourth fastest growing metropolitan area by the U.S. Census Bureau, Fargo is home to robust healthcare, technology, agriculture and education industries with corporate offices for Microsoft and Sanford Health.

  • Population: 48,859
  • Median household income has grown 7 percent year over year, and is forecasted to grow 17.5 percent by 2020, nearly three times faster than the national average.
  • Civilian labor force unemployment is one of the lowest in the country.
  • Population of millennials ages 25-34 is 20 percent, 50 percent higher than the U.S. average.

92010 – Carlsbad, nicknamed the “Village by the Sea,” is a tourist destination known for its Legoland theme park. It has four ZIP codes, two of which are right on the coast and extremely pricey. Prices in this region have been steadily increasing over the last 18 months. Located farther from the beach than the others, 92010 offers buyers a big selection of multi-family units, which is a way to get into the real estate market for under $600,000.

  • Population: 14,986
  • Share of $100,000 earning households is 35 percent, 55 percent higher than the U.S. average.
  • Median household income in this ZIP code is $71,000, 16 percent higher than in the rest of the metro.
  • Median list prices were $664,000 in June, 33 percent higher than the metro. They also grew 10 percent year over year during the first half of the year.

Don’t see your zip code? Here’s the top 50:

top-50-zip-codes

#Top10zips

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

Real Estate Big Data

Home sales dive 10% in May – when is a sales rebound expected?

(REAL ESTATE) Home sales plummet in May, which we all expected, but when will sales begin to recover in light of this pandemic?

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As you would expect, May marks the third consecutive month of home sales declines amidst a global pandemic. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales fell 9.7% in May compared to April, down a whopping 26.6% compared to this time last year.

The silver lining is that values continue to improve, with a median existing home price of $284,600 nationally, up 2.3% from May 2019, marking the 99th month of year-over-year gains.

Inventory levels rose 6.2% from April, and are down 18.8% from May 2019. Average days on market didn’t move much, at 26 days being equal to May 2019, and down from 27 days in April.

“Sales completed in May reflect contract signings in March and April – during the strictest times of the pandemic lockdown and hence the cyclical low point,” said Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

He added, “Home sales will surely rise in the upcoming months with the economy reopening, and could even surpass one-year-ago figures in the second half of the year.”

Sales also reflected an uptick in suburban sales over urban home sales. Dr. Yun cited work from home demands, however, anecdotally we would add some people moving away from densely populated areas in response to recent unrest.

What will ease housing conditions?

As he has observed repeatedly in recent years, Dr. Yun points to home builders. “New home construction needs to robustly ramp up in order to meet rising housing demand. Otherwise, home prices will rise too fast and hinder first-time buyers, even at a time of record-low mortgage rates.”

Mortgage Banker’s Association’s (MBA’s) SVP and Chief Economist, Dr. Mike Fratantoni’s insight pointed to inventory challenges as well: “As buyers are returning to the market, as evidenced by the strong, nine-week rebound in MBA’s purchase application data, the lack of homes for sale will be a real constraint. Although demand certainly dropped in March and April due to the crisis, supply dropped even more, and has thus far kept home prices from declining. We expect that home-price growth will pick up over the summer due to insufficient supply levels.”

Dr. Fratantoni noted, “The market is supported by strong demand from first-time homebuyers, who represented 34% of home purchases in May. Millennial-driven demand will be a tailwind for the market for the next several years.”

“Although the real estate industry faced some very challenging circumstances over the last several months, we’re seeing signs of improvement and growth, and I’m hopeful the worst is behind us,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc.

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Real Estate Big Data

Mortgage rates are still falling, demand still rising

(REAL ESTATE BIG DATA) Mortgage rates are low, so people should buy or refinance before they go up. And although inventory is low, demand is up as well.

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Mortgage rates have dropped to another record low with the fourth reduction this year and buyers are taking notice. According to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) economist Joel Kan, “The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence.” Mortgage applications rose 4% last week from the previous week and were 21% higher than last year, according to the MBA’s seasonally adjusted index. Nine straight weeks of gains and the highest volume in more than 11 years is significant.

A year ago the 30-year home loan averaged 3.84%, but for the week ending June 18th, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.13%, down eight basis points from a week earlier. The previous record low was 3.15% at the end of last month. 15-year fixed-rate mortgages have also seen a drop. Four basis points down to an average 2.58% rate.

With numbers like this, Americans may not want to wait too much longer before locking rates in.

Lower rates have also encouraged an increase in applications for refinancing, with applications up 10% for the week and 106% higher than a year ago. “Refinancing continues to support households’ finances, as homeowners who refinance are able to gain savings on their monthly mortgage payments in a still-uncertain period of the economic recovery,” Kan said.

There is no certainty how long rates will remain this low, however. Matthew Speakman, an economist with Zillow said “Upticks in coronavirus cases across the country left market participants skeptical of the economic recovery’s sustainability. More bad news regarding the uptick in coronavirus cases would likely send rates back downward, possibly to new lows. However, rates could just as easily begin to trend upward again, particularly if key economic data or measures to contain or treat the virus show meaningful improvements.”

The housing market is seeing a rebound. COVID-19 stay at home orders mean more people are wanting to invest in their homes and buyers are ready to capitalize on low rates before they increase. Unsold inventory remains at a low, however, and until there are more houses up for sale there is a limit on how high sales activity will increase.

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Real Estate Big Data

Chinese investments in America dipped 90% in 48 months

(REAL ESTATE BIG DATA) It might have been obvious to some but as a result of our recent relationship with them, Chinese investments in American real estate are down.

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Since 2016, American eyes have been on China and their investment–or lack thereof–in American real estate. According to Insight 24/7 News, Chinese investment in America has dropped from $46.5 billion to a mere $5 billion in the past four years–roughly a 90 percent decrease. Believe it or not, though, this doesn’t exactly spell doom for the future.

So how did we get here?

We’ve written at length about foreign investment in American real estate, a process from which China is not exempt. In mid-2016, Chinese investment peaked; with the election of President Trump and the ensuing trade war, these investments came under fire, leading to the rapid decrease in standing investments culminating in what we see today.

It would be easy for someone to glance at these numbers, note the disparity, and panic. After all, don’t rapid drops in real estate investment signal impending disaster?

In this case, no–though it is emblematic of a current problem. The removal of Chinese ownership of properties in the U.S. simply addresses a larger issue–that the relationship between these two countries is tenuous, and increasingly stiff regulations on foreign investment coupled with a reluctance on the Chinese government’s behalf to invest is the very recipe for declining numbers.

When one looks at the fact that many of these property grabs were illicit or based on loose regulation–especially through the optic of Chinese markets emerging as competitors rather than partners–the investments themselves begin to look problematic, making their decline seem like more of a side-effect of a system at work than a symptom of a greater illness.

However, in an age of generalizations and hot tempers, it’s important to take a minute to remember that this is not a “Chinese” issue–far from it. The people of China have about as much say in their government’s illicit affairs as we have in the caloric count of a McMuffin–often less, in fact–and while the current political climate has led to some demonization of Chinese values and investments, let’s not forget that there can be a fine line between regulation and racism.

As Insight 24/7 News points out, America has become an “inhospitable” place for Chinese investment–a byproduct of the aforementioned regulation and tariff war. This kind of hostility may be warranted, but directing it at Chinese residents or citizens never will be.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that Chinese investment in American property is likely to continue decreasing, at least for the near future. Consumer attitudes toward a Chinese market aren’t great in the wake of COVID-19, and the trade war doesn’t show any signs of stopping any time soon.

Simply put, until the U.S. government and the Chinese government can learn to trust each other again, the likelihood that either will invest in the other isn’t optimistic.

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