2020’s Hottest ZIP Codes

August 19, 2020

East Coast housing markets are dominating this year. Helping these markets to boom: millennials who are migrating away from city centers in search of affordable housing and space to raise a family, according to realtor.com®’s newly released 2020 Hottest ZIP Codes Report.

The top 10 hottest markets on realtor.com®’s list this year share some traits: easy access to downtown amenities and outdoor space, relative affordability with a vibrant local economy, and a large number of millennial home buyers, the report notes.

Homes in the hottest ZIP codes are selling faster than the rest of the country by 51 days and also are fetching views on realtor.com® 4.3 times more than other homes nationwide.

Half of this year’s hottest housing market ZIP codes are located in the Northeast. Demand for these markets is being driven by a lack of affordability in nearby larger cities, such as New York and Boston, realtor.com® notes. And although these were some of the first markets to be hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have also been some of the first to recover. That has allowed buyers to try to make up for lost time from a missed spring homebuying season, realtor.com®’s report notes.

The following ZIP codes made realtor.com®’s top 10 list:

  1. 80911 – Colorado Springs, Colo.
  2. 43068 – Reynoldsburg, Ohio
  3. 14617 -- Rochester, N.Y.
  4. 02176 -- Melrose, Mass.
  5. 04106 -- South Portland, Maine
  6. 66614 -- Topeka, Kan.
  7. 03051 -- Hudson, N.H.
  8. 01602 -- Worcester, Mass.
  9. 22152 -- Springfield, Va.
  10. 27604 -- Raleigh, N.C.

Absent from this year’s annual list: The West Coast.

“Nothing west of the Rocky Mountains made the list," says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. "But when you view the list through the lens of affordability, the picture becomes more clear. As the largest generation in U.S. history continues to advance toward life milestones --settling down, marriage, parenthood--the need for space and affordable housing outshines the bright lights in expensive urban areas like New York or Los Angeles. While we've seen millennials moving in this direction for a few years now, all the extra time at home spent trying to work, learn, and play in response to the pandemic has heightened these preferences and put the trend toward extra space and affordability on fast-forward."

Indeed, millennials are being drawn to smaller, less dense markets where housing is more affordable. The average millennial homeownership rate in this year’s hottest ZIP codes is 53%, compared with 43% for the rest of the country, realtor.com® notes. Millennials are thriving in these markets too. The average household income for millennials in realtor.com®’s hottest ZIP codes list is $82,011—27% more than the national median of $64,670.