Our list of top 10 zip codes shows a mix of homebuyers eager to find value in the vicinity of high-priced metros, and buyers opting for high-priced zips in low-cost metros. These hot zips offer considerable bang for your buck with larger-than-average homes at lower-than-average prices.
Shoppers determined to achieve homeownership have had to get creative this year amidst rising prices and mortgage rates. Many of this year’s zips are within regular or occasional commuting distance of high-cost metros and priced lower than their immediate surroundings, enabling buyers to marry location and value. Zips at the top of the list saw demand drive listing prices up an average 18.6% year-over-year in June, exceeding the US’ average 16.9% price growth. These hot zip codes garnered between 2.7 and 4.6 times the number of viewers per property, on average, compared to what was typical in the US for the first half of the year. This demand fueled the blistering pace of sales with homes spending 20 to 26 fewer days on market than the typical US home.
Eight of the ten hottest zip codes on the list are in the northeast, while the Midwest and South each have one zip on the list. The Western region is not represented in this year’s ten hottest zips as affordability concerns have pushed buyer interest elsewhere.
Realtor.com’s Hottest Zip Code rankings take into account two aspects of the housing market: 1) market demand, as measured by unique viewers per property on realtor.com, and 2) the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on realtor.com. The hottest areas are those that have high demand from buyers, in other words, lots of unique viewers per each property listed for sale, and fast-selling homes, an indicator of limited supply.
To dive deeper into each of the hottest zips, check out zip guides at realtor.com/2022hottestzipcodes.
The 2022 hottest ZIP codes in America, in rank order, are:
|Rank||Zip Code||Zip Name||Metro Area||Viewers per property vs US (Jan – June)||Median Days on Market (Jan – June)||Median Listing Price (June)|
|1||14618||Brighton, NY||Rochester, NY||4.2||6||$275,000|
|2||03062||Nashua, NH||Manchester-Nashua, NH||4.6||7||$536,000|
|3||43085||Worthington, OH||Columbus, OH||3.9||7||$467,000|
|4||03038||Derry, NH||Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH||3.6||7||$447,000|
|5||04062||Windham, ME||Portland-South Portland, ME||4.2||10||$505,000|
|6||18017||Bethlehem, PA||Allentown-Bethlehem et al, PA-NJ||3.7||8||$424,000|
|7||37604||Johnson City, TN||Johnson City, TN||3.7||10||$329,000|
|8||03106||Hooksett, NH||Concord, NH||3.3||10||$482,000|
|9||02760||North Attleboro, MA||Providence-Warwick, RI-MA||2.7||5||$587,000|
|10||04210||Auburn, ME||Lewiston-Auburn, ME||3.4||12||$267,000|
*Limited to one zip code per metropolitan area
High Prices and Mortgage Rates Drive Demand for Affordability
Buyers this year have been faced with rising prices and mortgage rates, a double-whammy of declining affordability. As a result, buyers have set their sights on areas that offer good bang for their buck. This year’s zip codes are a mixed bag of lower-priced zips near high-priced metros, relatively higher-priced zips in low-priced metros, and a few overall affordable locales. The common theme across these zips is value for money. Half of the zip codes on our list are lower in price than the national median, a slight drop from last year as 2021’s distributed demand shifted to a heavy northeast concentration. However, several zip codes are more affordable than their local markets, despite being higher priced than the national average, attracting cost-conscious consumers with their sights set on a specific area. Notably, these zip codes are attracting views from higher-priced metros across the country.
Every zip code in our top 10 offers some element of value for potential buyers. Six of the top 10 zip codes had a lower median list price compared to the U.S. housing market, or relative to their surrounding metropolitan area, or both. Controlling for home size, all ten markets have a comparable or lower median listing price per square foot relative to the US housing market, their surrounding metro, or both.
The Hottest Zips Offer Buyers More Space
As companies are slow to bring employees back into the office, remote and hybrid work arrangements continue to put pressure on relatively affordable markets with spacious homes. The pandemic-fueled shift in working arrangements has resulted in a re-shuffling of living preferences. Some buyers are looking to be a commute away from a high-cost metro, while other buyers are opting for more space in lower-priced areas. On both fronts, buyers looking in the hottest zip codes tend to get more space for their money. Homes in the hottest zips are larger, on average, than in their surrounding metro, resulting in a higher median listing price. Homebuyers shopping in these zip codes find larger homes than they would find around the country, with a median square footage of 1,946, which was about 60 square feet larger than the typical home for sale around the country in June. Controlling for home size, the outright or relative affordability of these zips really shines through. Price per square foot was lower than either the surrounding metro or the US average in all of the hottest zips. The price per square foot for homes in the hottest zip codes was 8.7% lower than their surrounding metros in June.
Demand in all of the hottest zip codes outpaced US demand. The number of visitors per property on realtor.com in the top zip codes was 3.6 times higher than for the typical U.S. property, on average. Viewers per property in the hottest zip codes were 1.6 times as high as their surrounding metro areas.
High-Demand Means Homes Aren’t For-Sale Long & Buyers are Highly Qualified
The mad dash for affordability has sped up these local markets to a blistering pace. The typical home in the hottest zip codes spent just 9 days on market in June, 16 days fewer than their surrounding metro areas and 23 days fewer than the national average of 32 days.
With homes selling quickly, successful shoppers are well-qualified with higher credit scores (742 vs. 728) and larger down payments than is typical across the country (15.0% vs. 14.2%). Because these areas have higher incomes than is typical, there are plenty of potential home buyers in these hottest zips. In fact, 8 of the 10 hottest zips have a median household income above the national median and as a group the average is $87,500 compared with $72,465 nationally.
New England is the Spot for Buyers
Across all top 10 zip codes on our list, the median listing price reached $432,000 in June, 3.6% higher than their surrounding metro areas, but 4.0% lower than the national median of $450,000. One theme in this year’s list is affordability relative to the Boston metro area. Boston ranks in the top two metros for inbound viewership in more than half of this year’s zips, all of which are relatively affordable compared to the Boston area. This trend suggests that Boston-based buyers are looking to nearby towns and suburbs, as well as other areas altogether, to find affordable homeownership. The proportion of Boston buyers looking at Boston properties dropped by 7.8 percentage points between 2021 and 2022, suggesting these buyers are looking to relocate out of the area. The Manchester-Nashua and Concord, NH metro areas attract significant attention from Boston buyers, so while the hot zips in these metros are higher-priced than the surrounding area, they are lower-priced than the nearby Boston metro.
This year’s hottest zips are highly concentrated in the historic northeast and as a result, homes in the hottest zips tend to be older than the typical US home. On average, 21.8% of homes in the hottest zips were built before 1939 compared to just 11.6% nationwide.
East-Coast Urbanites Are Driving Demand in the Hottest Zips
Buyers in the high-priced Boston, New York and DC metro areas have shifted their attention to lower-priced locales. The proportion of views from Boston, NYC and DC to listings within the same metro dropped most severely compared to last year. This is to say the proportion of viewership from the NYC metro to listings in the NYC metro area dropped most severely over the last year (-6 percentage points). Likewise, the proportion of viewers from DC to listings in DC dropped by 16.5 percentage points in the last year. As these big business hubs adjust to hybrid and remote work, buyers are looking for value farther afield. As a result, at least one large east coast metro (NYC, Boston, DC) was among the top 5 viewers by proportion of views for all of this year’s hottest zips. Seven of the hottest zips boasted all three of these large east coast metro areas among their highest proportion of incoming viewers lists (top 10).
Where Millennials Put Down Roots
As it turns out, millennials value homeownership and are pursuing it in earnest. Though the share of millennial householders (age 25-44) is 29.3% in the top 10 zip codes, compared to 31.6% nationally, the rate of homeownership in this age group exceeds the national rate. In the hottest zips, 57.1% of millennials own compared to 51.3% nationwide. More specifically, more than half (54.4%) of younger millennials (25-34) own in the hottest zips, on average, compared to the national rate of 44.5%. Similarly, 63.8% of older millennials (35-44) own, on average, in the hottest zips compared to just 57.1% nationwide. The millennials in these areas also tend to have higher incomes than their peers nationwide, boosting their buying power and enabling higher rates of homeownership.
Fresh Entries and Familiar Faces
Several familiar metropolitan areas are returning to the list this year as more than half of the metros represented have made a hottest zips appearance before.
Rochester, NY returns to the list with top-ranking zip 14618 after ranking #2 on last year’s list with nearby zip 14617. Moreover, six of the metropolitan areas on the list this year have been represented in the past, albeit by a different zip code. The Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA, Johnson City, TN, Providence-Warwick, RI and Lewiston-Auburn, ME metros appeared on the list for the first time in the data’s history.
These new entries largely attracted viewers from higher-priced metros based on cross-market demand data from the first half of 2022. Roughly a third of the viewers to ZIP 18017 (Bethlehem, PA) were from the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas. Only 24.0% of viewership to ZIP 37604 (Johnson City, TN) was from within the metro area. Johnson City drew significant attention from the higher-priced Washington DC, Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, New York and Chicago metro areas. Following the same trend, listings in ZIP 02760 (North Attleboro) attracted as many viewers from Boston as they did from the local area (roughly 37% of views each). Finally, listings in ZIP 04210 (Auburn, ME) attracted the highest proportion of views (21.8%) from the higher-priced Portland, ME metro area.
Last Time on the List
|Last Time on the List|
|Rank||Zip Code||Metro Area||Zip||Metro|
|1||14618||Rochester, NY||–||#2 2021|
|2||03062||Manchester-Nashua, NH||–||#4 2021|
|3||43085||Columbus, OH||#3 2018||#6 2021|
|4||03038||Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH||–||#3 2021|
|5||04062||Portland-South Portland, ME||–||#4 2020|
|6||18017||Allentown-Bethlehem et al, PA-NJ||–||–|
|7||37604||Johnson City, TN||–||–|
|8||03106||Concord, NH||–||#8 2021|
Top 50 Hottest Zip Codes
Realtor.com’s Hottest Zip Code rankings are based on an algorithm that takes into account two aspects of the housing market: 1) market demand, as measured by unique viewers per property on Realtor.com, and 2) the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on Realtor.com. The hottest areas are those that have high demand from buyers, in other words, lots of unique viewers per each property, and fast-selling homes, an indicator of limited supply. Market Hotness rankings based on Realtor.com listing data from January to June 2022. The list of top zip codes is limited to one zip code per metropolitan area. Descriptive statistics in this write-up refer to June 2022 data only.