Back in January, we predicted 10 neighborhoods across the country that would be the hottest this year, based on website activity of our millions of unique visitors. Today, we’re checking in to see how hot, or not, those places are turning out to be. We’re also going to clue you in on 10 additional neighborhoods that are starting to heat up now.
To see how our January predictions fared, we looked across several housing metrics and compared them with last year. Those metrics included median sale price, price per square foot, how many homes sold, how fast they sold and the percentage of homes that sold above list price. Out of the 10 neighborhoods we predicted would be hot in 2014, eight have solidly outperformed their metro areas so far. Phinney Ridge in Seattle performed just slightly better than Seattle as a whole, and Desert Shores in Las Vegas has been comparatively cool so far this year.
The hottest of the hot were Portland’s Concordia, where more than half of homes sold for more than their list price, and Chicago’s Humboldt Park, where the median sale price is up 62 percent since last year.
Oops! We Missed
As we said, not all our predictions came true. In Seattle’s Phinney Ridge, the median sale price is down 3 percent since last year and fewer homes are selling above list price.
“Phinney Ridge is a desirable area where homes still receive multiple offers,” said Seattle Redfin agent Robin McCue. “But competition has been less intense as homebuyers began to expand their search to more affordable areas.”
Another miss was in Desert Shores, Las Vegas. The median sale price rose less than the rest of Vegas, and far fewer homes are selling for more than list price.
“Desert Shores is facing a lot of fresh competition, especially from neighborhoods with newer homes,” said Las Vegas Redfin agent Ed Smith, “Now that price increases are not as extreme, buyers have more options that they can afford.”
A Couple of Surprises
Some neighborhoods that weren’t on our list in January have also been very hot so far this year. One of those is University Hills in Austin, where 60 percent more homes sold this June than last June, prices were up nearly 50 percent, and homes spent half as long on the market as they did last year, at 19 days. Austin Redfin agent Andrew Vallejo said the area’s growing popularity is largely because it is so close to central Austin.
“A lot of homebuyers are looking for that close proximity to the city, so this area is a great place to be if you want an easy commute,” Vallejo said. “Affordability is certainly a factor in this neighborhood growing in popularity; this area is desirable for anyone who might not want to pay the rising cost of living in the city.”
In Denver’s Bear Valley, the median sale price has increased by 23 percent since last year, and homes are spending 18 days on the market on average, compared with 39 last year.
“Bear Valley is a popular alternative for folks who have grown tired of the ultra-competitive neighborhoods like Highland, Berkeley, Sunnyside, Baker and Park Hill in Central and West Denver, and Green Mountain in Lakewood,” said Denver Redfin agent Greg Goldstein. “With the Bear Creek Trail running through it, Bear Valley offers the great Colorado outdoor lifestyle, while 285 connects you to the mountains and metropolitan areas in a matter of minutes.”
10 New Spots Heating Up
Of course, what everyone really wants to know is what markets are just starting to heat up now. Again, we’re basing our predictions on Redfin.com website activity.
Our data and our agents agree that, for the most part, the neighborhoods where we will see the most warming throughout the rest of the year have one major thing in common: affordability. They’re mostly adjacent to highly sought after neighborhoods that have become difficult to get into because of high prices and few homes for sale.
Neighborhood Forecast by Market
Is your city or neighborhood not in the top 10? Below, we’ve identified one neighborhood that’s warming up in each of the following 23 markets, with insight from a Redfin agent for each. Use the links below to jump to your city, or scroll down through the whole list.
Atlanta, GA | Austin, TX | Baltimore, MD | Boston, MA | Charlotte,NC | Chicago, IL | Dallas, TX | Denver, CO | Fort Worth, TX| Houston, TX| Las Vegas, NV | Los Angeles, CA | Oakland, CA | Orange County, CA | Philadelphia, PA | Phoenix, AZ | Portland, OR | Riverside, CA | Sacramento, CA | San Diego, CA | San Francisco, CA | Seattle, WA | Washington, D.C.
Neighborhood: Inman Park
Atlanta Redfin agent Will Fassinger: “Inman Park has long been known for its incredible historic homes, both large and small. The historic structures, combined with new, very desirable attractions, such as The Beltline and Krog Street Market, are drawing more and more people to the neighborhood, securing its status with locals as a favorite area.”
Austin Redfin agent Andrew Vallejo “MLK-183 is really the place to be right now. We are seeing a lot more homes that have recently been remodeled, and that is something we weren’t seeing last year. It is also incredibly easy to get from MLK-183 to center city within a matter of minutes, and new public transportation hubs are becoming a big draw for the area.”
Neighborhood: Roland Park
Baltimore Redfin agent Timothy Maller: “Roland Park is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Baltimore city. It is known for its stately, historic homes and its good public schools, as well as its proximity to many premier private schools. Roland Park has a suburban feel in the city. The majority of the housing stock consists of detached homes with yards, a rarity in a city known for its rowhomes.”
Neighborhood: Egleston Square
Boston Redfin agent Kathryn Gustafson: “Egleston Square is just on the other side of the T tracks from Centre Street, the main drag through Jamaica Plain, a very popular neighborhood in Boston. Centre Street is full of local restaurants, bars, shops and coffee houses and runs parallel to three orange line T stops, making all these amenities very accessible by public transit. Egleston Square is not yet as developed as the heart of Jamaica Plain, but because of its close proximity to Centre Street and the T, homes are selling over asking price and buyers should be prepared for competition.”
Charlotte Redfin agent Marcy Prentiss: “Affordability is a big reason Sedgefield is becoming such a hot area right now. The homes on the market don’t cost as much as homes in other neighborhoods such as Dilworth and Myers Park, making it an appealing location for homebuyers. And while the houses in the area are smaller, they are on beautiful lots with plenty of mature trees.”
Neighborhood: Pilsen / Lower West Side
Chicago Redfin agent Ali Donoghue: “Pilsen has experienced a lot of commercial revitalization. Thalia Hall, which dates from the 1890s, was restored in 2013 as multi-use space that includes a restaurant, bar and concert venue. The 2nd Fridays Gallery Night along the Chicago Arts District is always popular, as is the Sunday farmers market. Add in easy access to the Pink line, the Metra, the Stevenson and the Dan Ryan and you have a still-affordable neighborhood with great transit options, in close proximity to the loop.”
Neighborhood: Little Forest Hills
Dallas Redfin agent Bob Plessinger: “Little Forest Hills stands out from other Dallas neighborhoods because of the variety and diversity of homes in the area; you’ll find a lot of homes with fun and funky architecture that you don’t see anywhere else. There are a lot of artists who live there, and the residents seem to appreciate everyone’s individuality. It’s also a great location, close to White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum.”
Denver Redfin agent Ilona Botton: “Many of the homebuyers who are searching and buying homes in Cole today started off their search in City Park or City Park West, which have a similar appeal and vibe, but extremely low inventory. Cole is one of the few places left in Denver where you can find a home that’s a bit more affordable than other neighborhoods where prices have been driven up significantly over the past few years. Thanks to the expansion of the light rail in Five Points, all of the areas in and around Cole have become more accessible for commuters.”
|Fort Worth, TX
Neighborhood: Fossil Creek
Fort Worth Redfin agent Roddy de la Garza: “Fossil Creek is a popular community that was fueled and continues to be sustained by volume homebuilders in the North Texas area. The appeal is the North Central location that feeds off the growth of Saginaw and North Richland Hills. The schools are highly rated and the price point falls within FHA loan limits.”
Houston Redfin agent Tara Waggoner: “Just a short 10-minute drive to the Galleria, the Braesmont neighborhood, near the ever popular city of Bellaire, is also home to some of Houston’s highly ranked elementary, middle and high schools. It’s a primo location if you’re a fan of the Texans and near the medical center. New homebuilders have also found this to be a desirable area. Many people are tearing down older properties and replacing them with million-dollar homes.”
|Las Vegas, NV
Neighborhood: Painted Desert
Las Vegas Redfin agent Ed Smith: “With street names like Arnold Palmer Way and Ben Hogan Drive, it’s easy to identify the Painted Desert neighborhood as a golfer’s oasis. But this subdivision near Centennial Hills is also gaining in popularity because of its close proximity to major highways, highly ranked schools, shopping and medical centers. The community boasts a collection of homes ranging from high-end sprawling estates with gorgeous golf course views to convenient townhomes with all the amenities needed to live an easy carefree lifestyle.”
|Los Angeles, CA
Neighborhood: Cheviot Hills
Los Angeles Redfin agent Jenn Harrison: “Cheviot Hills is heating up because the surrounding neighborhoods that were once considered to be a good deal, like Mar Vista and Culver City, are no longer as affordable as they once were. Now that homes in these neighborhoods are just as pricey as the tony Cheviot Hills, folks would just as soon live there.”
Neighborhood: Santa Fe / NOBE
Oakland Redfin agent Davey Cetina: “Located in the greater NOBE neighborhood (North Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville), Sante Fe is definitely blooming! Not only does the central location make for quick access to Berkeley without Berkeley price tags, but it’s also seeing a lot of new businesses nearby, making the area even more attractive for young professionals and artists alike.”
|Orange County, CA
Neighborhood: The Canyon
Orange County Redfin agent Chayan Alavi: “People love this location for its easy access to the 91 freeway and traffic-skirting toll roads, which connect the Inland Empire, Orange County and L.A. At the same time they are able to enjoy the O.C. lifestyle of highly rated schools, entertainment and ambiance. Living in the O.C. is considered to be very prestigious – living in The Canyon makes that possible at a reasonable price.”
Philadelphia Redfin agent Blakely Minton: “Franklintown is a great neighborhood for those who spend their weekends enjoying the city. Residents can find a myriad of activities just outside their doorsteps, including some of Philly’s top attractions, such as the art museum, the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Science and the annual Philly Fourth of July Jam. Franklintown also neighbors the business distinct, which appeals to homebuyers looking for a short, easy commute.”
Neighborhood: Hillcrest Ranch
Phoenix Redfin agent Wayne Graham: “My clients love the lifestyle Hillcrest Ranch offers. It’s a small but beautiful neighborhood, home to highly ranked schools, outdoor activities like golf courses and bike trails and a short drive to popular destinations like Thunderbird Park, Lake Pleasant, the Peoria sports complex and entertainment district, and Arrowhead mall. Homes in Hillcrest Ranch are affordable, so buyers today find their money can go a long way here.”
Portland Redfin agent Rebecca Walter: “Near the action on Hawthorne in Southeast Portland, the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood is the newest hotspot because of its close proximity to other popular Portland neighborhoods. People are flocking to C-K because of its affordability and the fact that it sits smack dab in the middle of Clinton-Division and Woodstock.”
Neighborhood: Hawarden Hills
Riverside Redfin agent Carlos Raya: “Hawarden Hills is just outside of the well-known and prestigious area of Canyon Crest and the surrounding orange groves. The market has finally rebounded enough that people can afford to move here. In addition to existing custom homes, folks are also interested in lots in this neighborhood to build their own custom homes. This area is definitely heating up, with lots of new interest in just the past few months.”
Neighborhood: North Oak Park
Sacramento Redfin agent Melanie Franklin: “More homebuyers have been adding North Oak Park to their search this year because it is very close to more expensive, more popular neighborhoods like Curtis Park and East Sacramento, but offers the same ‘feel’ and proximity to amenities at a lower price. North Oak Park is also a historic neighborhood with a charming feel in close proximity to downtown Sacramento and to California State University, Sacramento.”
|San Diego, CA
Neighborhood: Carmel Mountain
San Diego Redfin agent Jeremy Paul: “Carmel Mountain is centrally located between San Diego and North County and is very close to the freeway for quick commuting access. It’s a popular area because it still has plenty of affordable options. In addition to great shopping, the neighborhood is also known for its abundance of parks and highly ranked schools.”
|San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Redfin agent Miriam Westberg: “NoPa is nestled among Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley and Pacific Heights and has become one of the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco due to its central location, proximity to Alamo Square Park and the Panhandle, and the emergence of many trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques.”
Seattle Redfin agent Adam Heater: “Roosevelt has a great location with easy access to the interstate, parks and nearby shops and restaurants. The neighborhood is slated for transportation improvements, such as a planned light rail project that will go through the heart of the community. Roosevelt is also more affordable than adjacent communities such as Green Lake and Ravenna, but it offers quick access to amenities in those neighborhoods.”
Washington, DC, Redfin agent Leslie White: “Nestled between Bloomingdale and the popular destination Union Market, Eckington is a well-established community on a rebound. Many people know the name, but say ‘Now where is that exactly?’ Eckington contains a variety of homes, including many typical DC porch front rowhouses and several condo buildings of various sizes. Prices tend to be lower than neighboring Bloomingdale and NoMa, which have seen significant developer activity in recent years. ‘Fixer-uppers’ can still be found at fair prices in Eckington.”
Figures cited in the report are based on sales and website traffic during the second quarter of 2014, compared with the year before, with calculations performed during the week of July 7.