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.)
|2||43085||Columbus, OH (Worthington)|
|3||80122||Littleton, CO (Centennial)|
|6||78247||San Antonio, TX|
|7||63126||St. Louis, MO (Crestwood)|
|8||78729||Austin, TX (Jollyville)|
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: