Watauga ranked No. 1 in housing market ZIP code study

Watauga tops ZIP codes nationwide as having the hottest housing market, according to newly released research by Realtor.com.

The website named the Fort Worth suburb’s 76148 ZIP code as the top housing area due to millennials attracted by affordable housing prices and strong job market.

The top ten ZIP codes are 76148 (Watauga); 94523 (Pleasant Hill, Calif.); 80233 (Northglenn, Colo.) in the Denver area; 80916 (Colorado Springs, Colo.); 78247 (San Antonio); 94954 (Petaluma, Calif.); 02176 (Melrose, Mass.); 63126 (Crestwood, Mo.); 97222 (Milwaukie, Ore.) a suburb of Portland; and 92104 (North Park, Calif.), a town in San Diego.

Realtor.com’s rankings are based on the time required for properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each ZIP code.

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“Homes for sale in this year’s hottest ZIP codes are selling almost as quickly as they hit the market,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, commenting in a news release.

“While millennials are usually a significant presence in most markets, their sheer size and buying power have made them a force to be reckoned with in these hot ZIP codes and given them the power to shift supply and demand dynamics,” Smoke said.

Realtor.com called Watauga “a youthful and relatively dense suburban community” with a median resident age of 34 years and 5,924 people per square mile. The town’s dominant buyer segment are millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. They account for 33 percent of all mortgages in the market. Many millennials in ZIP 76148 are already homeowners, making up 65 percent of the total population of owners in the area. Twenty-one percent of millennial households make over six figures.

According to Realtor.com, homes in Watauga sell in 17 days, almost 30 percent faster than last year. The median listing price in Watauga is $137,000, which is up 16.4 percent over last year. This is 48 percent lower than county, 57 percent lower than metro, and 43 percent lower than the U.S., respectively. The area has seen 3 percent job growth, plus 28,000 jobs over last year, according to Realtor.com. It currently has an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent and trending higher.

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Realtor.com is the official website of the National Association of Realtors. It displays home listings from nearly 800 multiple listing services nationwide.