Do you live in one of the country's hottest zip codes?
Michigan, Colorado and California have some of the hottest ones for homes sales, according to a new list from Realtor.com. Make no mistake, there are good reasons for so many properties changing hands.
"While each zip code is hot for its own unique reasons, some common threads among the hottest in the country are relative affordability, popularity among Millennials and strong local economies as evidenced by low unemployment rates and high salaries," says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.
Sure, the Realtor.com zip codes are indeed burning bright, but they're not the only real estate "hot spots" right now across the fruited plains. Try these ten momentum-moving real estate markets on for size.
Small appliances are hot sellers.
Watauga tops the Realtor.com "hottest real estate zip codes" list, primarily due to the area's quick trigger on home sales. Pop a "for sale" sign into a front lawn in Watauga, and, on average, it'll be sold in 18 days. "Watauga is an inner suburb of Fort Worth that has a young population, a strong economy and schools that have been rated among the best in the state," the Realtor.com report says. "Residents also benefit from being part of a vibrant, multicultural metropolis, with great restaurants and cultural offerings like the Kimbell Art Museum and Fort Worth Zoo."
This southeastern Michigan hamlet is going gangbusters, home sales-wise right now. Why? Give credit to the area's high economic growth rate and reasonable media home sales prices ($223,000, according to Realtor.com.) "A western suburb of Metro Detroit, Livonia combines the best parts of suburban living with close proximity to the great attractions of the resurgent Motor City," Realtor.com reports. "It's just a half hour from downtown destinations such as the Detroit Institute of Art, the historic Eastern Market commercial district and the homes of four professional sports teams."
Another Michigan zip code makes the list, this time in Kentwood, on the southwestern portion of the state. Kentwood's real estate market is buzzing because of several factors - its days on the market number, at 16 days, is actually better than Watauga's, and its low unemployment rate of 3.2% means heavy home-buying traffic from homebuyers looking for a good real estate deal. "Kentwood is part of the Grand Rapids area, one of the fastest-growing parts of the country. In recent years, Grand Rapids has become known for its booming economy, huge annual public art competition and a great local microbrewery and dining scene," Realtor.com says. "Kentwood also is conveniently close to the Gerald R. Ford airport, which has been adding direct flights to major destinations throughout the country."
"D.C. is among one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S.," says Justin Paulhamus, vice-president at M Squared Real Estate, in the D.C. area. "With a second year of extremely low inventory, we're still seeing double-digit escalations with multiple offers." While some might argue home prices in some areas are beginning to flatten, some of the fringe areas are now starting to see double-digit month over month appreciation, Paulhamus says. "For example, the 20019 zip code in D.C. -- just a short distance from Capitol Hill -- has seen double-digit increases in prices month over month for the last three months," he notes.
The median sales price in mid-city Los Angeles has risen $261,000 from August, 2016 to August, 2017 this year, and median rent prices have gone up a staggering $850 per month, notes Angeline Vuong, head of marketing at Open Listings, a Los Angeles-based real estate start-up. "Yet as expensive as the Los Angeles real estate market is, it doesn't show any signs of stopping," Vuong notes. "As L.A. gets more sprawling, and young successful professionals working in Santa Monica and Playa Vista -- aka Silicon Beach -- stay priced out of Westside homes and don't want to bear the commute from the East side of Los Angeles, mid-city provides a good, central location." Eventually, with the metro transit line expanding further west, these property values should grow as their convenience factor increases, Vuong adds. Inglewood and Koreatown are right behind the Wilshire area in terms of "hot" real estate markets, Vuong adds.
Rockridge, a "very desirable" Oakland neighborhood, according to Kristina McCann,a real estate broker at Kristina McCann Broker, Inc., near Alameda, Calif. "Rockridge has less than one month of inventory and the average time on market is still a very low eight days," says McCann. "These are for homes in the sub-$2 million sector. Other price ranges are behaving very differently - but, here, at this price point, houses are being snapped up at 125% of asking as soon as they hit the market." McCann says this BART-accessible, convenient commute location with an Oakland vibe stands out as a "spectacularly competitive market, no matter what the calendar says about spring, summer or fall."
Statistically, three of the five highest-appreciating zip codes right now in Phoenix are in areas on the city's fringe, notes David Meek, a real estate broker with Keller Williams Arizona Realty in Scottsdale, Az. "Because of the extreme imbalance of supply and demand in Phoenix, prices are lifting in the surrounding small towns and far-flung exurbs of the metro," Meek says. Buyers are having to move further out to remain within budget, and buyers who want to stay closer in are bidding up prices near downtown in the smaller homes and tackling significant renovation projects. "That's a sign that home prices in one of the hardest-hit cities in the nation during the Great Recession have rebounded solidly," Meek says.
The 32814-zip code in Orlando, Fla. is piping hot right now, says John Crossman, president of Crossman & Company in Orlando. "The 32814 zip code is a planned community located near downtown Orlando," Crossman says. "The community is diverse, has tons of green space, offers "A- rated" public schools, and has a great town center. Plus, Halloween is epic - 2,000 kids will come by our house."
Realtor.com also cites Medford, a leafy suburb of Boston. "Once overlooked as a sleepy city northwest of downtown Boston, Medford is now known for its lively dining options, ample recreation opportunities at Wright's Park and along the Mystic River, and the annual Mystic River Celebration devoted to the arts," Realtor.com says. "The area is home to the renowned Tufts University, and the T provides easy public transportation access to downtown Boston. Residents also enjoy a low tax rate compared to other cities in the region." Medford is a magnet for younger homeowners, who comprise 38% of all local mortgage holders.
Located just outside of Denver, on its southwesterly side, Littleton, and neighboring Marston and Columbine Valley, offer ample lifestyle benefits to new homeowners. "This suburban hotspot boasts great shopping options, a fun and historic downtown area and plenty of great condo and single-family home options," Realtor.com says. "That's not to mention its natural beauty and perfect placement for outdoor lovers." Realtor.com reports that homes in Littleton sell in 22 days, a 19% uptick from 2016. The area is also expected to add 5,000 new jobs in 2017, an increase of 2% over 2016.