The key to real estate investing is finding the hot areas before they are too hot to afford and make more money on. In order to find these about to be hugely hot areas, it is always wise to look at the hottest markets around so that you can view prices, see if you can afford to invest in already hot markets or create predictions for which markets will be hot next.
The ZIP codes 02176 (Melrose, Mass.), 43085 (Worthington, Ohio) and 58103 (Fargo, N.D.) have pushed past one of the nation’s most recognizable postal codes – 90210 – and 32,000 others across the U.S. to top realtor.com’s list of 10 Hottest ZIP Codes for 2015.
ZIP codes making the list are distinguished by healthy housing dynamics, strong local employment and neighborhood “it factors.”
The hotness ranking is determined by the time it takes properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each ZIP code.
“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 homebuyers, 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.”
Here’s how it broke down.
In each top-ranked ZIP code, supply and demand are about five times stronger than the rest of the country. Homes in these communities sell four to nine times faster than the national average, with days on market 45%, or 20 days, lower than their respective metropolitan statistical areas. Centennial, Colo., has the nation’s lowest median age of inventory, with homes selling in approximately two weeks. 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.
Income and employment are also contributing to the strong housing markets in these ZIP codes. Median household income among the Top 10 is $71,000, 20% higher than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas and 32% higher than the national average of $54,000. Moreover, the share of households earning $100,000 or more is 32%, 22% higher than their respective markets and one-third higher than the national average of 23%.
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 above 5%. ZIP codes on this list have an average of 22% lower unemployment than their surrounding metro areas.
Each of the neighborhoods on this list provides favorable conditions for millennials considering a home purchase. The median income of people ages 25-34 years old in these ZIP codes is 26% higher than their respective metros, and 50% higher than the national average. In half of these areas, millennials earn 35% more than other age groups in the same ZIP code. Novi, Michigan, the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood, Missouri, and Columbus suburb, Worthington, Ohio, rank high in affordability with the median household able to afford 60-70% 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,” 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.”
Who made the cut?
Click below to find out.
02176 – Melrose, Mass. 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% higher than the average millennial in the U.S.
- Market unemployment dropped by 14% year over year in the last six months.
- Median list prices in June 2015 were 5% higher than the surrounding metro, and grew 5% year over year in both May and June.
43085 – Worthington, Ohio 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% lower than the rest of the metro.
- Median list prices in June were 26% higher than the surrounding metro, and grew 10% year over year during the first half of the year.
80122 – Centennial, Colo., 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% higher than the average millennial in the U.S. and 48% 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% year over year in the last six months.
75023 – Plano, Texas 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% year over year over the last six months.
- Share of $100,000 earning households is 36% and will increase to 40% by 2020 based on the latest five-year projections from Nielsen Demographics.
48375 – Novi, Mich. 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% higher than the average millennial household in the U.S.
- Civilian labor force unemployment is 57% lower than in the rest of the metro, and has dropped by 30% year over year.
- Median list prices in June were 22% 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% 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% by 2020.
- Median list prices in June were 33% lower than the metro, and grew 7% year over year during the first half of the year.
63126 – Crestwood, Mo. 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% higher than the average millennial household in the U.S. and 38% higher than the average millennial in the metro area.
- Civilian labor force unemployment is one of the lowest in the country and about 40% lower than the surrounding metro.
- Home ownership rate is one the highest in the country at 84%, almost 20% higher than the U.S.
78729 – Austin, Texas. 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% higher than the average millennial household in the U.S.
- Share of $100,000 earning households is expected to grow 23% by 2020.
- Population of millennials ages 25-34 is 23%, 75% higher than the U.S. average.
58103 – Fargo, N.D. 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% year over year, and is forecasted to grow 17.5% 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%, 50% higher than the U.S. average.
92010 – Carlsbad, Calif., 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%, 55% higher than the U.S. average.
- Median household income in this ZIP code is $71,000, 16% higher than in the rest of the metro.
- Median list prices were $664,000 in June, 33% higher than the metro. They also grew 10% year over year during the first half of the year.