The most attractive ZIP codes of 2019, according to Realtor.com’s analysis of over 16,000 areas, suggest a shift in homebuying trends. Judging by the top-ranked markets in Realtor.com’s “Hotness Index,” homebuyers are interested in maintaining an active lifestyle even as they move to quieter neighborhoods outside major cities. Overall, buyers want homes that are affordable, within close proximity to downtown and that have room to grow, according to Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale.
Based on how long it takes to sell properties and how frequently homes are viewed on Realtor.com, the nation’s top three ZIP codes this summer are in Grand Rapids, Michigan (49505), Omaha, Nebraska (68144) and Boise, Idaho (83704).
Affordability continues to be a key factor in demand across local housing markets. The median listing price for the five ZIP codes new to the hotness ranking is 36 percent less expensive than the entire top 10, and 32 percent less than the national median price. These new additions to the list — Grand Rapids, Shawnee, Kansas (66203), Rochester, New York (14609), Arlington, Texas (76018), and Goffstown, New Hampshire (03045) — have a relatively affordable average home price of $272,000, considerably lower than the current national median of $316,000.
Each of these areas share some common characteristics, including rapidly growing local economies, low unemployment and large millennial populations. Many have large populations of high-earning millennials, with those in the hottest markets boasting a 13 percent greater average income than the national millennial median income. Millennials also make up the greatest share of homebuyers taking out mortgages, averaging 39 percent.
From an economic standpoint, the country’s most popular housing markets still have room to grow. The median income of homeowners in the Realtor.com list’s five newest ZIP codes is $64,000, 9 percent lower than that of the others in the top 10. The number of households in these areas is projected to grow by 4.3 percent this year, faster than the national rate of 1.1 percent, but slower than expected in the other leading areas which have a projected growth rate of 7.6 percent.