Now that 2015 is off and running, we know what you’re wondering: Which neighborhoods will everyone be lusting after this year? In 2015, it will be all about compromise. There are finally more houses for sale, and affordability is once again buyers’ top concern. They may give up on living in the trendiest ZIP code, but they won’t sacrifice convenience. As a result, the neighborhoods that are going to be the most popular this year aren’t suburban, but they aren’t quite urban either; they’re in a sweet spot where affordability and convenience overlap.
After two years of neighborhood predictions, we’ve got the hang of this. Of the 10 neighborhoods we predicted would be hot last year, eight were. Our 2015 predictions are based on a similar methodology: We looked at which ones had the biggest increase in page views and Favorites on Redfin.com, as well as the prevalence of Redfin Hot Homes in each neighborhood. We then asked our local Redfin agents in every market for their on-the-ground insights, and together we came up with the 10 hottest neighborhoods of 2015, as well as the five hottest neighborhoods in each of 27 metro areas.
This trend toward neighborhoods of compromise is a shift from the past two years, when the hottest neighborhoods tended to be more urban, more expensive and home to the most coveted schools. For example, hipster havens like Highland Park in Los Angeles and The Mission in San Francisco topped the list in 2013. In 2014, our predictions that exclusive Upper Chevy Chase in Washington, DC, and historic Humboldt Park in Chicago would be hot came true. But buyers this year are focused on value. In our recent homebuyer survey, affordability was ranked as the biggest obstacle to owning a home for the first time since early 2012. Affordable inventory remained low throughout most of 2014, so homebuyers have to look a bit further afield to find the perfect home without sacrificing the conveniences of being close to an urban center.
“Many homebuyers have recoiled from the dramatic increase in house prices in urban centers posted over the past three years,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “They are now searching for more affordable places farther out. Expect the neighborhoods on this list to see high demand in 2015 as rock-bottom mortgage rates and a more lenient mortgage lending environment help make homeownership in expensive cities less costly.”
If you already live in one of these hot neighborhoods, claim your home to check its value throughout the year.
The Hottest Neighborhoods of 2015 by Metro
For a more local perspective, we’ve compiled a list of what we predict will be the year’s five hottest neighborhoods in each of 27 metros areas below.
“East Atlanta is exploding with interest from millennials and empty nesters alike because of the trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques that can be found around East Atlanta Village. Buyers are realizing they can have everything at their fingertips by living near the city and are scrambling to buy homes here before prices rise. Likewise, many tech sector workers who have relocated from the coasts are looking for an affordable area that offers the fun and excitement of a big city.”
“Circle C Ranch is only 15 years old, but it has already seen a lot of investment in new, high-end construction over the past few years, causing home values to rise across the board. The area features highly ranked schools and easy access to downtown Austin, yet it has a leafy, suburban feel. When a new listing goes to market in Circle C, there’s often a line of people outside waiting to tour it.”
“The redevelopment and modernization of Southeast Baltimore continues to reach north of the pricey Canton and Fells Point neighborhoods. Over the past few years, the surge in demand for affordable housing in the area has incited builders, investors and traditional buyers alike to begin purchasing and/or renovating properties in the Patterson Park, Butchers Hill and Highlandtown neighborhoods. Now, even Upper Fells Point is becoming an attractive and relatively affordable venue. With its close proximity to Johns Hopkins, Patterson Park and new restaurants and businesses, a revamped Upper Fells Point is sure to become one of the many residential hotspots in Southeast Baltimore over the next few years.”
“The growing startup community and biotech industry in Cambridge have helped revitalize Inman Square over the past five years. Interest from buyers, especially those who work in Kendall Square, is steadily growing. The area is near the heart of Boston and has long had highly rated schools, but now also has lots of popular restaurants, shops and bars. Buyers are now actively seeking out Inman Square as a top choice to live, which has not always been the case.”
“Starmount is already getting a lot of buyer action and the development is going to be on fire in 2015. Buyers are targeting the area for townhomes and old bungalows with character, as well as tearing down older homes and building new ones. The expanding light rail and close proximity to Dilworth and Uptown also make the neighborhood convenient and attractive to people moving in.”
“The diverse housing options in Andersonville attract both new buyers looking for their first condo and experienced buyers looking for larger homes or townhouses. The abundance of charming small businesses along Clark Street paired with frequent neighborhood street festivals make Andersonville its own little village in the city of neighborhoods. With an average Walk Score of 93 out of 100, Andersonville often attracts car-free buyers.”
“More ‘grown up’ than Uptown and less urban than the Downtown Government district, City Center is really reaping the benefits of the suburban exodus of empty-nesters moving into the city and the surge of first-time buyers eager to purchase before home prices rise much more. The easier loan terms for condos and demand for mixed-use developments and high-profile amenities are creating a city-living renaissance.”
“Green Valley Ranch is going to see a lot of growth in 2015 because of its affordability. Green Valley Ranch is a little farther east than Stapleton where we’ve already seen prices rise in the past year. The area is full of new construction, which is hot in Denver right now for several reasons. For one, it eases the extreme inventory crunch that people are feeling in neighborhoods closer to downtown Denver. Secondly, it’s a popular option among buyers relocating to the area from out of state. Not only can these buyers order a house exactly how they like it from the ground up, but they can also escape the pressures of a competitive market — no need to fret about bidding wars from afar!”
“Commonwealth is a well-established Sugar Land neighborhood originally built in the 1990s. Commonwealth has quiet streets, mature trees, extensive outdoor space like The Greenbelt, and highly desired elementary, middle and high schools. Commonwealth is likely to attract even more homebuyers this year because it is right next to Sweetwater and Colony Park, two other well-established neighborhoods where competition among buyers is fierce.”
“Paradise Palms is conveniently located just east of the Strip and borders the Las Vegas National Golf Course. It could easily be considered the epitome of vintage Las Vegas, as most homes were built in the 1960s with a heavy influence from the architecture of Palm Springs. It appeals to residents who appreciate the historical significance of the neighborhood, the retro style and its close proximity to both the airport and the top-shelf entertainment and dining options of the famous Las Vegas Boulevard. And, with a median sales price of less than $200,000, it is very affordable.”
“Bohemia has been gradually attracting more interest from buyers over the past few years. The neighborhood has highly ranked school districts and is close to public transportation and the highway, making it particularly desirable for commuters. Bohemia is still close to the water, but because the properties aren’t waterfront, homeowners don’t have to purchase flood insurance. Bohemia also has a diverse housing stock, with everything from condos to colonials to postmodern homes situated on large lots, attracting buyers with diverse needs.”
“The Westside is back! Fox Hills and the surrounding neighborhoods of Culver City are poised for greatness in 2015. Easy freeway access, highly ranked public schools and lots of shopping nearby are just a few reasons people want to live here. The tech startups that have been setting up shop on ‘Silicon Beach’ are inching their way into Culver City and opening trendy offices in converted loft space. Plus, you can get a great condo here for around $300,000, which is pretty inexpensive for the Westside!”
“Considered by many the ‘Brooklyn of the South,’ Wynwood is a popular destination among professionals who seek to live in a hip and vibrant neighborhood. Wynwood is only 10 to 15 minutes from South Beach, Brickell and downtown, but offers more affordable home prices. The neighborhood is home to the famous Wynwood Walls, a collection of buildings adorned with graffiti art created by artists from around the world. Wynwood is also one of the few remaining neighborhoods where you can enjoy a beer for under six bucks, depending on the venue.”
“Mesa Verde is grabbing everyone’s attention right now because it has great freeway access, is close to trendy shopping and boasts many detached, single-family homes with loads of charm. As folks are getting priced out of surrounding communities in Irvine and Newport Beach, Mesa Verde’s relatively low median price and lack of special tax assessments will bring homebuyers flocking in 2015.”
“Compared to its nearby counterparts Pennsport and East Passyunk Crossing, Dickinson Narrows offers an affordable option to Philly homebuyers looking for the amenities of downtown living. It’s also located in South Philly, which is becoming a hotspot for first-time homebuyers and suburban relocators. Dickinson Narrows has its own enclave of popular restaurants and bars and it’s surrounded by scenic parks and playgrounds. Housing in the area consists of new construction, rehabbed housing and older homes available for around $235,000. It’s also one of the few neighborhoods downtown you’ll find with spare parking and garages, which is at a premium in South Philly. With I-95 right on the outskirts of the neighborhood, it’s easy to roll out of town for a weekend getaway too.”
“Unlike many other cities, Phoenix isn’t divided into a lot of specific neighborhoods. Instead you’ll find a variety of housing developments, especially once you get outside of the center of downtown and the historic districts. Because it was hit hard by the mortgage crisis, homes in Wildflower Ranch have relatively lower asking prices, which means you can get more bang for your buck — making it popular among first-time homebuyers. Wildflower Ranch also has world class golf, is in close proximity to Estrella Falls, a new mall, and is also just five minutes from spring training.”
“In the past few years, Roseway has evolved into a bustling community with shops and restaurants popping up along Sandy Boulevard, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. The Roseway Theater, a local staple that has been renovated, is another popular draw. Many first-time home buyers are attracted to Roseway’s more affordable home prices and its close proximity to shopping and entertainment in nearby neighborhoods.”
“Little Neck is near several well-established neighborhoods in Queens, including Bayside, Whitestone and Great Neck, so it was only a matter of time before buyers started seeking it out. The neighborhood boasts highly ranked schools, lots of grocery stores and other amenities, proximity to the highway and an easy commute into New York City via public transit. Buyers can find lower-priced homes, but the competition from other buyers is already strong. Desirable properties are selling within days of hitting the market.”
“For the first time in many years, we’re seeing a shift back to more established neighborhoods being desirable over new construction, and Hedingham is a great case in point. It has a beautiful golf course, full-grown trees and many neighborhood events. Homes are affordable, ranging from $85,000 to $275,000, but buyers still get great amenities including tennis, three swimming pools and a gym.”
“Tuscany Hills has everything going for it right now. The neighborhood is located in Lake Elsinore, which is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. It’s surrounded by highly ranked elementary schools and touts lower HOA fees and fewer special assessments than the neighboring communities. All that and you can score a beautiful hilltop home with a lake view for under $400,000!”
“Curtis Park is centrally located: close to downtown and right next to Land Park, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Sacramento. Curtis Park homes are from the same era as those in Land Park, with similar character, so there’s spillover appeal but at a shade-lower price point. The school district is highly ranked and it’s not uncommon for people who grew up there to return to raise their families. Historically, it’s been a very a stable market so it could be primed for a groundswell of interest.”
“As prices continue to rise in the popular neighborhoods on the east side of San Diego, many first-time homebuyers are getting priced out of places like Kensington and North Park. El Cerrito, which lies just on the perimeter of those hotspots, is a relatively undiscovered jewel of a neighborhood. In addition to being close to San Diego State University and Mission Valley, El Cerrito has a good mix of recently updated, yet still affordable, homes and some pockets of extreme affordability that are drawing in developers and investors. This charming little neighborhood also boasts some good dining and shopping options.”
“Decreasing affordability and a lack of homes for sale on the San Francisco Peninsula are driving homebuyer interest to the outskirts, and Crocker is one place where sellers are likely to reap the benefits. Daly City is the first stop outside of notoriously pricey San Francisco and homes can be found for hundreds of thousands less than even South San Francisco. There is a lot of opportunity for buyers to purchase homes near the parkland with great views, then renovate to make them their own.”
“In Silver Creek, there are homes situated around a country club and golf course priced from $800,000 to $2 million, so it’s less about affordability and more about competition. There is immense interest from luxury buyers in first-choice places like Los Altos and Saratoga and very, very little inventory. In Silver Creek, luxury buyers can find a similar lifestyle as in Los Gatos or Los Altos, but at a lower price point in newer developments and shopping centers.”
“Woodridge features many midcentury homes at an affordable price point. And with its highly ranked public schools, it’s quickly becoming a sought-after neighborhood in the city of Bellevue. The community also enjoys a convenient location, tucked away on a quiet hill but only minutes from downtown.”
“Located about halfway between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, the Channel Islands neighborhood of Oxnard is in a great location for commuters who work in the San Fernando Valley. You can live in a beautiful, coastal community for a fraction of what you would pay in the pricier neighborhoods of Santa Barbara and L.A. This is one of the few neighborhoods remaining in Southern California where you can live near the coast for under $1 million.”
“The eastward march of development in the District has reached Woodridge, a quiet neighborhood tucked along the northeastern border of D.C. The neighborhood has a decidedly residential feel, yet offers relatively quick access to downtown via Rhode Island Avenue. Woodridge offers detached single-family homes on larger lots than you’ll find in other areas of the city. Buyers are drawn to the diverse housing stock, which includes a mix of craftsman bungalows and brick colonials from the ’20s and ’30s, with some newer homes peppered in. The homes are more affordable than comparable homes in Brookland, which was a hot market for buyers in 2014.”
Redfin considered neighborhoods in 27 major metro areas. After controlling for neighborhood size and the overall activity in the local metro area, we ranked neighborhoods based on three factors: total page views, Favorites and the prevalence of Redfin Hot Homes. To construct the final rankings, we chose the neighborhoods that experienced the most growth in these three factors over the course of 2014.