Is it the year of the affordable suburb? As more millennials search for single-family homes with affordable addresses, more and more suburbs with short commutes and great prices are catching on and getting attention. In fact, Realtor.com has named Watauga’s 76148 the nation’s hottest ZIP code for 2017.
It was named the hottest ZIP code for the second straight year thanks to its competitive housing market and desirable amenities. "Watauga is an inner suburb of Fort Worth that has a young population, a strong economy, and schools that have been rated among the best in the state," states Realtor.com. "Residents also benefit from being part of a vibrant, multicultural metropolis, with great restaurants and cultural offerings like the Kimbell Art Museum and Fort Worth Zoo."
The area, which borders State Highway 377 to the west and Interstate 820 to the south, enjoys proximity to Fort Worth, but it’s still firmly in Mid-Cities territory, so jaunts to Dallas aren’t out of the question. The area is full of affordable homes — many of which are priced under $200,000, like the one at 5821 Haney Dr., priced at $169,500.
The average home listing views in 76148 were up 28 percent over last year, with homes receiving five times more views than those in the rest of the country. Homes in Watauga sell in 18 days, 5 percent slower than last year, with a median list price of $160,441, up 12.4 percent over last year. Tarrant County is expected to add 28,000 jobs this year, an increase of 3 percent.
"Increasingly, the hottest housing markets are the ones that appeal to millennial preferences, and right now the standouts are relatively affordable suburbs with local ‘it’ factors such as hiking trails, great restaurants, and nightlife," says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. "With the largest cohort of millennials turning 30 in 2020, we can expect these types of areas to stay in demand in the years to come."
On Realtor.com's list, Watauga was followed by Livonia, Michigan (48154); Kentwood, Michigan (49548); Medford, Massachusetts, (02155); Littleton, Colorado (80123); Castro Valley, California (94546); Colorado Springs, Colorado (80922); Overland Park, Kansas (66210); Mira Mesa, California (92126); and Hilliard, Ohio (43026).
A version of this story originally was published on Candy's Dirt.