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Friday, December 17, 2021

Florida Frenzy: America’s Hottest Neighborhoods of 2022 include Weston

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  • Eight of the places on the annual top 10 list are in Florida, which is luring scores of house hunters in search of sunshine, low taxes and more affordable housing.
  • Retirement communities surrounding Sarasota, in particular, are seeing growing demand from young homebuyers who have been priced out of other areas and from remote workers coming in from out of state.
  • A majority of the top 10 metros face substantial risk from storms, flooding and heat.

Eight of Redfin’s 10 hottest neighborhoods of 2022 are in the Sunshine State. Seven of those eight are in the Sarasota metropolitan area alone.

This is according to a Redfin analysis that ranked U.S. zip codes by year-over-year growth in listing views on Redfin.com and Redfin Compete Score—a measure of how difficult it is to win a home based on factors including days on market, share of homes that sold above their listing prices and sale-to-list price ratio. All data represents September 2021. 

“The Sarasota area has changed radically over the past year,” said local Redfin real estate agent Eric Auciello. “Many of the towns surrounding Sarasota are exploding in popularity because so many people are getting priced out of Sarasota proper or moving in from out of state to work remotely and take advantage of the sunshine, low taxes and relative affordability. A lot of the neighborhoods house hunters are flocking to have historically been retirement communities, but are becoming younger with all of the first-time buyers and early retirees moving in.”

These communities are also likely gaining steam because retirement is on the rise among older Americans. More than half (50.3%) of U.S adults aged 55 and up had left the labor force due to retirement as of the third quarter, up from 48.1% two years earlier. More than 3 million Americans have retired early due to the pandemic.

The Sarasota metro area was the eighth most popular destination for house hunters looking to switch metros in the third quarter. That’s based on net inflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com home searchers looked to move into a metro than leave. More than two-thirds (67.1%) of home searches in the Sarasota metro came from a different metro area.

“Now that remote work is the norm for many Americans, the most popular neighborhoods are in suburbs with natural beauty and homes that are more affordable than those in major coastal cities like New York and San Francisco,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Many of the hottest neighborhoods on Redfin’s 2022 list check all three boxes and likely won’t stay much more affordable for long.”

Three metros in the top 10 had median sale prices below the national level in September ($376,800), while nine of the top 10 metros saw annual price growth above the national level (14%). Every place in the top 10 experienced a greater year-over-year decline in housing supply than the overall U.S. (-19%), and all but two of the top 10 metros saw homes sell faster than the national average (18 days).

A majority of the places on the annual top 10 list also face substantial risk from storms, flooding and heat—a reality house hunters should consider as the impacts of climate change intensify. 

While research has shown that most people consider climate change when buying or selling homes, there are often other factors—like affordability or proximity to family—that drive them to high-risk places anyway. Overall, more people are moving into than out of areas facing high risk from climate change, an August Redfin analysis found. 

“People who are set on moving to Florida have to take the bad with the good; hurricanes are just part of life here,” Auciello said. “It’s a growing concern for a lot of Floridians, but especially those in communities with aging infrastructure since older buildings are more likely to crumble and have drainage problems when flooding occurs. Flood insurance has also become astronomically expensive, which means we may start to see even more cash buyers than normal because homeowners without mortgages aren’t required to have flood insurance.”

1) South Sarasota, FL

Zip code: 34238
Parent metro area: Sarasota, FL
Median sale price: $434,023 (+19% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $300,000 (+7% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 36%
Median days on market: 7 (-77 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -50%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +208%
Climate risksHeat (extreme), storm (high), flood (moderate), fire (moderate), drought (low)

“South Sarasota is known for its proximity to Siesta Key, a barrier island with stunning beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. You can get from one place to the other by car in 20 minutes,” Auciello said. “The neighborhood is full of desirable single-family homes that are still relatively affordable compared to the houses in central Sarasota. It’s one of the last parts of Sarasota where you can find a home for under $500,000—a draw for folks who have been priced out of other parts of town due to skyrocketing housing costs.”

2) East Venice, FL

Zip code: 34292
Parent metro area: Sarasota, FL
Median sale price: $420,000 (+38% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $300,000 (+7% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 53%
Median days on market: 4 (-48 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -25%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +173%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), flood (major), storm (high), fire (moderate), drought (low)

“East Venice is a hub for retirees. It has a number of 55+ communities and great access to golfing,” Auciello said. “We’ve seen a huge uptick in house hunters coming to check out the area, which may be because many of Florida’s retirement communities have been getting younger. First-time buyers are moving in from more expensive parts of Florida and the West Coast in search of better bang for their buck.”

3) Englewood, FL

Zip code: 34223
Parent metro area: Sarasota, FL
Median sale price: $427,500 (+38% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $300,000 (+7% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 28%
Median days on market: 8 (-62 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -28%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +170%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), flood (extreme), storm (high), fire (moderate), drought (low)

“Englewood has a small-town feel and is certainly less populated than other parts of the Sarasota metro area,” Auciello said. “It has excellent beach access and relatively affordable waterfront real estate. The neighborhood is about an hour south of Sarasota and an hour north of Fort Myers and Cape Coral, but has grown in popularity as remote work has allowed people to move farther away from big cities.”

This area is also home to Manasota Key, a barrier island along Florida’s Lemon Bay that has beautiful beaches, high-end homes and access to Stump Pass Beach State Park.

4) Venice, FL

Zip code: 34285
Parent metro area: Sarasota, FL
Median sale price: $305,000 (+5% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $300,000 (+7% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 39%
Median days on market: 6 (-43 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -39%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +155%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), flood (major), storm (high), fire (low), drought (low)

“Venice is a retirement community and has a cool historic downtown with excellent bars, restaurants and shops. New businesses are opening up all of the time,” Auciello said. “It has a more quaint feel than many other nearby neighborhoods—instead of strip malls, there’s beautiful architecture. It also has gorgeous beaches and is the shark teeth capital of the world, which lures tourists and beachcombers.”

5) Nokomis, FL

Zip code: 34275
Parent metro area: Sarasota, FL
Median sale price: $475,000 (+32% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $300,000 (+7% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 39%
Median days on market: 10 (-50 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -26%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +152%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), flood (extreme), storm (high), fire (moderate), drought (low)

“Nokomis is a charming beach town that borders Venice but has more luxury homes,” Auciello said. “The downtown area isn’t quite as built up as Venice’s, but is still very walkable.”

Auciello continued: “A year ago, this part of Florida was probably half locals and half out-of-staters, but now I’d say 75% of the residents are transplants. While home prices have increased sharply here, housing still isn’t as expensive as it is in many other parts of the country.”

6) The Meadows, FL

Zip code: 34235
Parent metro area: Sarasota, FL
Median sale price: $275,000 (+20% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $300,000 (+7% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 41%
Median days on market: 5 (-25 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -24%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +178%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), storm (very high), flood (moderate), fire (moderate), drought (low)

“The Meadows is a golf community northeast of Sarasota. It has direct access to Interstate 75, which means it’s a great place for folks who still need to commute to the city for work. Another appeal is the price point; you can still find homes in the half-million range, whereas many of the surrounding neighborhoods are more expensive. We’re seeing a lot of early retirees moving to the area.”

7) Chatham, Cape Cod, MA

Zip code: 02633
Parent metro area: Barnstable Town, MA
Median sale price: $965,000 (+33% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $500,000 (+20% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 51%
Median days on market: 11 (-109 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -48%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +149%
Climate risks: Storm (very high), flood (moderate), heat (low), drought (low), fire (very low)

“Chatham is a romantic town on the southeastern tip of Cape Cod. It’s quintessential Cape Cod, with beaches, bike trails and charming historic buildings dotting the downtown area that lure lots of tourists. It’s also close to the ferries that go to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard,” said local Redfin real estate agent Susan Arnoff. “Cape Cod has always been popular, but has received a whole new level of interest during the pandemic because it offers so much incredible beauty and tranquility. Chatham is relatively expensive, but you can still find affordable homes in other parts of the Cape.”Arnoff continued: “A majority of Chatham’s homeowners are seasonal. We’re seeing a lot of buyers come in from Boston, New York and San Francisco to purchase second homes that they rent out for part of the year as investment properties.”

8) Weston, FL

Zip code: 33332
Parent metro area: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Median sale price: $860,000 (+51% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $305,000 (+15% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 27%
Median days on market: 46 (-45 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -30%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +216%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), storm (high), flood (moderate), drought (low), fire (very low)

“Weston is a beautifully designed housing development right near the Everglades, about a half hour west of Fort Lauderdale. It has large homes with lots of land, perfectly-landscaped streets and great parks,” said local Redfin real estate agent Anthony Cervoni. “It also has one of the top-rated school systems in South Florida, which is the biggest draw for most buyers.”Cervoni added: “Before the pandemic, we were seeing empty nesters sell their 5,000-square-foot homes in Weston and move into smaller beachfront homes in Fort Lauderdale. Now we’re seeing the opposite—people are coming here from the city because they’re tired of being trapped in cramped condos and apartments.”Fun fact: Weston was built by the same developer who constructed Walt Disney world.

9) Lake Lure, NC

Zip code: 28746
Parent metro area: Forest City, NC
Median sale price: $427,750 (+26% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $235,250 (+40% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 41%
Median days on market: 48 (-63 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -25%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +152%
Climate risks: Storm (very high), heat (high), flood (major), drought (low), fire (low)

“Lake Lure is a major tourist attraction because it’s where a handful of scenes in ‘Dirty Dancing’ were filmed. Visitors can go on guided ‘Dirty Dancing’ pontoon boat tours and even attend an annual ‘Dirty Dancing Festival,’ where they can try their hand at reenacting the famous lift scene,” said local Redfin real estate agent Scott Walker. “It’s primarily a second-home destination. People buy property in Lake Lure because they want to be in the mountains of North Carolina and away from the hustle and bustle of Asheville, which is located about 45 minutes west.”Interest in vacation homes exploded during the pandemic as affluent Americans sought respite from crowded cities. Second-home demand was 70% higher than pre-pandemic levels as of October, a Redfin analysis found.

10) Downtown Fort Myers, FL

Zip code: 33916
Parent metro area: Cape Coral, FL
Median sale price: $264,328 (+25% YoY)
Median sale price of parent metro area: $264,500 (+13% YoY)
Share of homes that sold above list price: 35%
Median days on market: 9 (-51 days YoY)
Housing supply (active listings), year-over-year change: -37%
Median views per listing, year-over-year change: +183%
Climate risks: Heat (extreme), flood (major), storm (high), drought (high), fire (low)

“This part of Downtown Fort Myers has a lot of 1950s-era homes that need some TLC but are relatively affordable, which is attracting investors, builders and people who have been priced out of more expensive parts of town,” said local Redfin real estate agent Chris Jancich. “I recently worked with a disabled veteran who for years had been living in a nearby neighborhood where he was spending over $2,000 a month on rent. He bought a home for $200,000 in the Downtown Fort Myers area, and his monthly housing costs dropped to around $1,400.”Jancich continued: “The neighborhood is also right on the Caloosahatchee River, where builders are developing a handful of high-end, high-rise condos with beautiful waterfront views. With so many people retiring early now, we’re seeing increased interest in condos, which don’t require as much upkeep as single-family homes.”

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