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Realtor.com's 2022 Hottest ZIP Codes in America: Historic New England is the Newest Homebuying Hotspot

August 16 2022

Realtor.com® now provides "Hot Market Insights" on listings in areas with fast-selling homes and high buyer demand

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 16, 2022 -- One of America's most historic regions is its newest homebuying hotspot, with New England ZIPs representing over half of 2022's top 10 list in the eighth annual Realtor.com® Hottest ZIP Codes Report released today. In these ZIPs, homes sold in just over a week (8 days) and received nearly four times (3.7) more buyer views than a typical U.S. listing1. To help buyers better understand if they're shopping in a hot market, Realtor.com® now provides "Hot Market Insights" on listings that show how fast homes in that neighborhood are selling and how popular they are compared to other properties in the area and across the country.

rdc 2022 top 10 ZIPs Infographic

A key theme of this year's wicked-hot ranking is demand from out-of-ZIP home shoppers, driven by factors including relative affordability and convenient travel to big East Coast cities. The 2022 Hottest ZIP Codes in America, in rank order, are:

  1. 14618 Brighton, N.Y.
  2. 03062 Nashua, N.H.
  3. 43085 Worthington, Ohio
  4. 03038 Derry, N.H.
  5. 04062 Windham, Maine
  6. 18017 Bethlehem, Penn.
  7. 37604 Johnson City, Tenn.
  8. 03106 Hooksett, N.H.
  9. 02760 North Attleboro, Mass.
  10. 04210 Auburn, Maine

"With rising inflation and mortgage rates squeezing monthly housing budgets, this year's determined buyers are breathing new life into competition for homes in historic areas like New England. Our 2022 Hottest ZIPs ranking illustrates how many Americans are redefining their priorities to achieve homeownership while building their careers, by trading downtown life for relatively affordable areas with reasonable part-time commutes to big cities," said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com®. "Even as the housing market resets, home shoppers in the competitive Hottest ZIPs may need to take extra measures to win. It all starts with understanding the local market, and buyers can use Realtor.com®'s Hot Market Insights to arm themselves with knowledge that will be key to success when deciding where, when and how to make an offer."

With the launch of Realtor.com®'s "Hot Market Insights" announced today, the "neighborhood" section of property listings on Realtor.com® will now show homebuyers if they are shopping in a hot market. Home shoppers can click the button to learn more about the local housing market, including how fast homes are selling and how many more views they get compared to others in the area and in the U.S. These insights are updated each month, to provide buyers with a timely view of the competition they're likely to face.

Key trends driving homebuying demand in the 2022 Hottest ZIPs

Many Americans are feeling the strain on their finances due to the whirlwind of economic shifts that have occurred so far in 2022, including mortgage rate hikes. Combined with record-high home prices, rising affordability challenges are forcing many buyers to get creative if they want to beat the competition without breaking their budgets.

Home shoppers are doing just that in the 2022 Hottest ZIP Codes, with nine of the top 10 making the list for the first time in the ranking's eight-year history, including eight northeastern ZIPs making their debut. Six of these newcomers are located in New England, offering buyers a balance of new opportunities with historic charm. On average across the top 10, 13.4% of homes were built before 1939, compared to just 11.6% nationwide.

New England is a hot new homebuying destination for big city transplants

Many of the top 10's new entries are attracting home shoppers looking to relocate from high-priced big cities on the East Coast, based on migration patterns among prospective buyers viewing Realtor.com® listings. In the first half of the year, at least one big East Coast city – Boston, New York and D.C. – was among the top five sources of buyers viewing listings in all 10 of the hottest ZIPs.

Buyers in these major metros are exploring ZIPs further away than in prior years, enabled by more widespread adoption of remote work. Even for those with hybrid schedules, many of this year's hottest ZIPs provide the perfect combination of relative housing affordability and a reasonable part-time commute to big city business hubs. From all six New England ZIPs on the list, Boston can be reached in 2.5 hours or less.

ZIP Spotlight – No. 2 03681 Nashua, N.H.: At No. 2 on the 2022 list, Nashua is located just 42 miles from Boston, or within a 1.5 hour commute. In the first six months of 2022, listings in the ZIP attracted more viewers from Boston (38%) than from local buyers (32%). The influx of demand is fueling competition for homes in Nashua, where listings received 4.6 times more views and sold 23 days faster than the typical U.S. home (7 vs. 40 days) in the first half of this year. As a result, the ZIP's supply of active listings was down 26.9% year-over-year by June.

Affordability challenges drive demand in relatively small ZIPs offering high-value homes

As a result of rising inflation and higher costs for housing and everyday expenses, homebuyers have set their sights on areas that offer good bang for their buck, making value a key theme among this year's hottest ZIPs. Controlling for home size, the average price per square foot in the top 10 was 8.7% lower than in their surrounding metro areas in June.

Among the ZIPs on this year's list, the average asking price ($432,000) was 4.0% lower than the U.S. median listing price in June ($450,000). At the same time, driven by the rise in demand, home prices across the hottest ZIPs grew at a faster year-over-year pace (+18.6%) than listing prices nationwide (16.9%).

ZIP Spotlight – No. 8 03106 Hooksett, N.H.: Coming in at No. 8 on this year's list is Hooksett, N.H., located just 59 miles away from Boston. While Hooksett's median listing price ($482,000) was higher than the U.S. median as of June, it is considerably more affordable than in the Boston metro area ($759,000). Additionally, Hooksett homes tend to have more square footage (2,008, on average) than the typical U.S. listing (1,887). These price trends are likely attracting East Coast urbanites looking for value, with 26.5% of Hooksett's listings viewers coming from Boston in the first half of 2022.

Aspiring millennial homeowners are financially prepared for success in the hottest ZIPs

Now aged between 25 and 44 years-old, millennials are a key cohort of aspiring homeowners, whether first-time or repeat buyers. This generation is ready and willing to pursue homebuying opportunities in the hottest ZIPs, where they have the advantage of strong financial qualifications. Millennials are entering the top 10 with incomes that are higher than the national averages among those aged 25-34 ($83,782 vs. $70,510) and aged 34-45 ($100,966 vs. $89,365). On average, buyers in the hottest ZIPs are well-qualified with higher credit scores (742 vs. 728) and larger down payments (15.0% vs. 14.2%) compared to the typical U.S. home shopper.

Millennials' strong financial footing is paying off when it comes to achieving homeownership in the top 10. In fact, a higher share of millennials have successfully become homeowners in these ZIPs (57.1%), on average, than in the U.S. overall (51.3%).

ZIP Spotlight – No. 1 14618 Brighton, N.Y.: Topping this year's ranking with its debut is ZIP 14618 located in the Rochester metro area., which has now been represented on the list by other ZIPs for three years in a row. The rising popularity of Rochester ZIPs like 14618 may be partly due to buyers' success in the area. Compared to the U.S. averages, ZIP 14618's homeownership rates are higher among millennials (56.9% vs. 51.3%) and overall (70.8% vs. 65.2%). Local buyers also have strong qualifications, with a typical down payment of 15.7% and credit score of 745, as well as a higher median income than the U.S. average ($106,150 vs. $72,465).

2022 Hottest ZIP Codes in America – Top 50 Housing Metrics

 

Methodology

Realtor.com® analyzed listings data on over 29,000 ZIP codes to determine its Hottest ZIP Code rankings, which are based on January-June 2022 averages of: 1) demand, as measured by unique viewers per property on Realtor.com®; 2) the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on Realtor.com®; limited to one ZIP Code per metropolitan area and ZIP Codes with at least 15 active listings each month. Time frames for metrics not factored into the ranking as noted, e.g. listing price trends based on June 2022 data.

Note: The markets where Realtor.com®'s "Hot Market Insights" are featured on listings and neighborhoods on its website may vary from the 2022 Hottest ZIP Codes, due to methodology differences such as time frames (monthly data updated each month vs. Jan.-June 2022 data).

About Realtor.com®

Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 25 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps offers a marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp (Nasdaq: NWS) (Nasdaq: NWSA) (ASX: NWS) (ASX: NWSLV) subsidiary Move, Inc. For more information, visit Realtor.com.