Realtor.com® has just released its eighth annual Hottest ZIP Codes Report. And over half of the ZIP codes in the top ten are in New England. Homes in these top ZIPs sold in just eight days and received 3.7 times more buyer views than a typical U.S. home listing.
So, why are more homebuyers flocking to these New England markets?
Hot Market Insights
Realtor.com® launched “Hot Market Insights” to let homebuyers know if they’re shopping in a hot market and to help them understand how popular they are.
The “neighborhood” section on property listings will now show home shoppers important details about the local housing market, including how quickly homes sell and how many views they get compared to those in other neighborhoods.
Realtor.com® updates these market insights every month to give buyers a timely snapshot of the competition they can expect to face for each home on their list.
The Hottest ZIP Codes Report
New England has six of the top ten hottest ZIP codes in America, offering homebuyers a mix of high value and historic charm:
- 14618 Brighton, NY
- 03062 Nashua, NH
- 43085 Worthington, OH
- 03038 Derry, NH
- 04062 Windham, ME
- 18017 Bethlehem, PA
- 37604 Johnson City, TN
- 03106 Hooksett, NH
- 02760 North Attleboro, MA
- 04210 Auburn, ME
A look at the full list of the 50 hottest zip codes reveals a strong preference for cities near or on the east coast, from Maine to Florida.
Rising Inflation and Remote Work
More homebuyers, struggling with the higher cost of housing and everyday expenses, are looking at areas that offer a better value for their money.
Among the zip codes on this year’s list, the average listing price ($432,000) was 4.0% lower than the national median price in June ($450,000).
Also, in June of this year, the average cost per square foot for homes in the top 10 was 8.7% lower than for homes in surrounding metro areas.
That said, just as with pandemic hotspots like Miami and Phoenix, more affordable metros can quickly become less affordable. The top zip codes on this list are no exception.
Driven by the surge in buyer demand, home prices in the hottest ZIPs grew faster year-over-year (+18.6%) than home prices nationwide (16.9%).
Affordability and Access
For now, the relative affordability of these areas, combined with convenient travel to big East Coast cities, is driving up demand from out-of-ZIP homebuyers.
In fact, in the first half of 2022, at least one major East Coast city was among the top five locations for homebuyers viewing listings for the top 10 zip codes.
The increase in remote work makes it easier to live further away from heavily populated and expensive metro areas.
But even hybrid work situations cut back on commuting costs. And the zip codes on this list offer reasonable commutes to high-priced metros like Boston, MA. Hybrid workers in all six New England ZIPs can reach Boston in 2.5 hours or less.
Ease of travel to expensive New England metros with historic appeal is another draw.
Millennials and the Top 10
Millennial homebuyers are moving to the top 10 zip codes with incomes higher than the national averages for those in their age bracket:
- 25-34 yrs ($83,782 vs. $70,510)
- 34-45 yrs ($100,966 vs. $89,365)
That stronger financial footing is paying off. A higher percentage of millennials have become homeowners in these top zip codes (57.1%) than in the U.S. overall (51.3%).
On average, homebuyers in the hottest zip codes also have higher credit scores (742 vs. 728) and make larger down payments (15.0% vs. 14.2%) compared to typical homebuyers.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
Armed with relevant data from Realtor.com® and KCM, you can help consumers in your area understand how that data will affect buying or selling a home.
Also, remember that more affordable metros, once they become migration hotspots, often see a surge in housing prices as demand increases (Phoenix is a great example). The sooner buyers get in, the sooner they can benefit from rising home values.
On the other hand, sellers may be asking whether it makes sense to wait until home prices go up. Use the most relevant data to help each client make the best decision for them.