High mortgage rates and stubbornly high home prices — although they are beginning to come down in some major markets — are sending homebuyers further afield this year, according to a recent report from Realtor.com.
The real estate company ranked the hottest ZIP codes in the country according to buyer demand, using its own data on how many people viewed property listings and how long homes stayed on the market. What it found is what you might expect: buyers looking for affordable homes that don’t scrimp on space.
It’s where those homes are located that might be surprising — you likely haven’t heard of many. Although, one thing to note is that Realtor.com only allowed one ZIP code per metro area to rank on its list.
Following is a look at the places with the highest homebuyer demand for the first half of 2023.
10. Ballwin, Missouri
ZIP code: 63021 (St. Louis metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 30,622 as of 2022
Ballwin is a suburb of St. Louis about half an hour from the city’s major airport. It’s one of only two ZIP codes on this list with a higher millennial homeownership rate than the U.S. as a whole, Realtor.com says.
9. Pittsford, New York
ZIP code: 14534 (Rochester metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 30,346 as of 2022
This upstate New York suburb sits eight miles from Rochester and has kept “the grace, pride and spirited independence of its New England roots” front and center for more than two centuries.
More than half of the people viewing home listings here live outside the market, according to Realtor.com. That may be because the median home size here is nearly 30% larger than the typical Rochester home.
8. Norwalk, Connecticut
ZIP code: 06851 (Bridgeport metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 91,401 as of 2022
Norwalk is more of a renter’s market than a buyer’s market — Realtor.com notes it is one of two cities on the list where homeownership is below the U.S. average. But recently it is attracting a lot of attention, especially from nonlocals.
The city ranks high within the state for quality of life and as a great place for families in other surveys, and provides easy commuter access to New York City.
7. Trenton, Michigan
ZIP code: 48183 (Detroit metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 18,202 as of 2022
If nearby Detroit is Motor City, Trenton could be called Steamboat City. The city was famous for its shipyards and thousands of vessels were built there in the 1800s.
About 40% of curious homebuyers looking at listings were from outside the market in 2023, Realtor.com says.
6. Highland, Indiana
ZIP code: 46322 (Chicago metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 23,622 as of 2022
In contrast to several cities on this list, a vast majority — more than 80% — of would-be homebuyers in Highland already live in the Chicago metro area. Realtor.com does not report how many of them were avid birdwatchers, but the city has a large population of herons, owls and snowy egrets in the wetlands of Highland Heron Rookery.
5. Nazareth, Pennsylvania
ZIP code: 18064 (Allentown metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 5,988 as of 2022
A full two-thirds of folks looking to buy homes in Nazareth live outside the local real estate market. Properly called a borough, the former industrial town is still home to the Martin Guitar Factory, which since 1833 has made instruments played by the likes of Elvis, Bob Dylan and John Lennon.
4. Andover, Massachusetts
ZIP code: 01810 (Boston metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 36,363 as of 2022
This Boston burb has homes that cost about 25% less per square foot, but you might not know it from the prices because the properties are bigger, Realtor.com says. It was incorporated in 1646, and is home to the Phillips Academy, a preparatory school attended by both Presidents Bush, actor Humphrey Bogart and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
3. Ridgewood, New Jersey
ZIP code: 07450 (New York City metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 26,168 as of 2022
Ridgewood is the most expensive ZIP code on this list, according to Realtor.com, with the median listing price nearly $1.2 million in June. Still, home listings typically spend just 18 days on the market.
2. Southington, Connecticut
ZIP code: 06489 (Hartford metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 43,753 as of 2022
About a third of prospective Southington homebuyers live within the area, with another quarter of them coming from the New York City metro. It is home to the Southington Apple Harvest Festival, “one of the largest and longest running festivals in the Northeast and typically draws a crowd of over 100,000 people,” according to the town.
1. Gahanna, Ohio
ZIP code: 43230 (Columbus metropolitan area)
Population estimate: 35,127 as of 2022
The hottest real estate market in the country is Gahanna, Ohio. Aside from No. 10 Ballwin, it’s the only city on the list with a higher millennial homeownership rate than the U.S. overall. But it also has a homeownership rate lower than the national average, suggesting that many people here rent.
You can visit a different park in this Columbus suburb every week of the year, with more than 750 acres of parkland and 17 miles of trails all told. Homes listed for sale here typically spend less than two weeks on the market.