The 2021 Hottest ZIPs in America are hotter than ever before, with homes in the top 10 selling three times faster than last year’s list, according to the seventh annual Realtor.com® Hottest ZIP Codes Report released today. Among this year’s top 10, a few key factors are driving buyer demand, including homes listed at relatively affordable asking prices and with ample space for the money, as well as sizable populations of high-income millennials and close proximity to local amenities and outdoor activities.
The 10 Hottest ZIP Codes in America, in rank order, are: 80916 East Colorado Springs, Colo. (Colorado Springs); 14617 West Irondequoit, N.Y. (Rochester); 01960 Peabody, Mass. (Boston); 03103 Manchester Proper, N.H. (Manchester); 27616 Brentwood, N.C. (Raleigh); 43228 Lincoln Village, Ohio (Columbus); 01757 Milford, Mass. (Worcester); 03301 Concord Proper, N.H. (Concord); 48336 Farmington, Mich. (Detroit); and 37067 Franklin, Tenn. (Nashville).
Chandler is home to the only Arizona zip code to make the Top 50. Zip code 85224 in the only Arizona zip code among the Hottest ZIP Codes in America.
The U.S. is in the middle of one of the hottest housing markets of all time. Home prices reached record-highs in five of the first six months of 2021, which has helped fuel demand for the relatively affordable areas on Realtor.com®‘s Hottest ZIP Codes list. Homes in the top 10 are flying off the market in six days on average, 31 days faster than the rest of the country and 10 days faster than their respective metros in June – and three times faster than last year’s list (18 days). Additionally, Realtor.com® home listing views are up 156% year-over-year in these areas, which is 3.9 times higher than June’s national average.
“By definition, the ZIPs that make our annual hottest report are very competitive, but this year, they are white hot. Homes in this year’s ZIPs are under contract in less than a week, which is three times faster than the contract times for last year’s hottest markets,” said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “While there’s no question that buyers have faced a challenging housing market during the pandemic, our Hottest ZIPs list also highlights some of the silver linings. The rise in remote work has given some buyers more flexibility to live wherever they want, and many are finding larger homes at lower prices, as well as a higher quality of life, in the 2021 Hottest ZIPs.”
Smaller budgets buy bigger homes in Hottest ZIPs
With demand for more space being met with a lack of affordable housing inventory, Americans are scouring the market for areas where they can get more home for their money. In seven of this year’s top 10 Hottest ZIPs, median asking prices were 27.6%, or $106,000, lower than the national average in June. Eight of the top 10 saw median listing prices that were lower than in their overall metro areas in June and five ZIPs have asking prices that were at least 20% lower, including: No.1 ZIP 80916 in East Colorado Springs, which is 36% below overall Colorado Springs, along with West Irondequoit (ZIP 14617), 27.9% lower; S. Manchester Proper (ZIP 03103), 23.2% lower; Brentwood (ZIP 27617), 22.4% lower; and Lincoln Village (ZIP 43228), 21.6% lower.
Homebuyers are also finding more space for their money in the 2021 Hottest ZIPs. At a median of 1,850 square feet, homes in the Hottest ZIPs are 110 square feet larger than the typical U.S. home for sale, and each square foot is priced on average 3.7% lower than in surrounding metro areas, giving buyers a chance to get more home for their money. Many of these ZIPs are starter-home neighborhoods in metros where homes are larger. The three Hottest ZIPs where buyers get the most bang for their buck are: West Irondequoit (ZIP 14617) at $118 per square foot; Lincoln Village (ZIP 43228) at $146 per square foot; and Farmington (ZIP 48336) at $159 per square foot.
Hottest ZIPs reside in more suburban metros with higher millennial incomes
The 2021 Hottest ZIPs also show skyrocketing buyer interest in more suburban areas with strong millennial job markets. Among the 2021 Hottest ZIPs, only Peabody, Mass. (ZIP 01960) and Farmington, Mich. (ZIP 48336) are located in one of the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas by population: Boston and Detroit, respectively. The remaining ZIPs are in relatively less-dense secondary metros, with populations under three million. Overall, this year’s top 10 ZIPs are located an average of 16 miles, or 21 minutes, from the downtown areas of the surrounding metros.
While most of the Hottest ZIPs don’t offer a robust city life, they do offer strong job markets where younger Americans are gaining ground. In fact, the median household income for millennials aged 25-34 in the Hottest ZIPs is $71,127, which is 6.7% higher than the national average for this group at $66,661. Older millennials (aged 35-44) bring home a median income of $88,698 in the 2021 Hottest ZIPs, 6.3% above the national average for this group. With many now 40-years-old, older millennials have established a solid financial foundation in the Hottest ZIPs where their dollars go further.
“Prior to COVID, homeownership may have been a few years off for younger millennials, many of whom are building their careers, but flexible work arrangements are now enabling some to make a homebuying play. Building on older millennials’ success establishing themselves as homeowners in up-and-coming areas across secondary metros, younger millennials are pioneering into new ZIPs where relatively higher incomes make them more competitive buyers,” said Realtor.com® Senior Economist George Ratiu.
Hottest markets are homeownership hotspots for younger and older millennials
America’s Hottest ZIP Codes also have a proven track record with millennial homeownership. In fact, young millennials, ages 25-34 years old, in the Hottest ZIPs have a homeownership rate of 46%, which beats their national average of 44%. Moreover, half of the top 10 ZIPs meet or beat the national homeownership rate for young millennials, including: West Irondequoit (ZIP 14617) at 82.8%, Brentwood (ZIP 27616) at 57.1%, Peabody (ZIP 01960) at 49.8%, Farmington (ZIP 48336) at 54.0% and Milford (ZIP 01757) at 44.3%
Older, more established millennials are also successful in the top 10 Hottest ZIPs. In fact, 73% of millennials aged 35-44 own homes in these areas versus their national average of 57%. Half of the top 10 ZIPs have older millennial homeownership rates that beat or meet the national average, including: West Irondequoit (ZIP 14617) at 85.8%, Brentwood (ZIP 27616) at 67.3%, Farmington (ZIP 48336) at 65.7%, Milford (ZIP 01757) at 58.9% and Peabody (ZIP 01960) at 57.9%.
Preparation is key for any homebuyer in today’s frenzied market, especially younger buyers with fewer resources. In addition to staying up-to-date on housing market insights and tips, home shoppers can use tools like the Realtor.com® Real Estate app, where they can sign up for custom search alerts about new listings and price drops on saved homes.