Summer’s Hottest Neighborhoods: Where People are Looking to Move

November 12, 2020 — Written by Kerry Melcher

After living in the Bay Area, Audrius Masalskis and his family decided to buy a home and put down roots in Los Angeles. “Finding a home in a competitive market during the pandemic was a challenge,” Audrius says. “Los Angeles is such a hot area right now, we didn’t want to miss out on any homes.” After turning to Opendoor, Audrius and his family could safely self-tour homes on their own schedule, without any pressure. “Opendoor helped me better understand housing costs and trends in different areas. And once we found our dream home, we were able to close quickly and easily, all through the app.”

Like Audrius, many Americans have chosen to buy or sell a home and relocate during the time of COVID-19. A survey we released in August 2020 revealed 53 percent of people said the pandemic influenced their decision to relocate. We’ve seen historically low mortgage rates make it possible for some families to buy a home earlier than planned, while increasing buyer demand and low inventory have resulted in an especially strong seller’s market. Summer is traditionally the peak season for real estate, but, even as winter approaches, some markets across America are still very active.

To shed more light on the transformation taking place in the real estate industry and across the U.S., we uncovered the most popular neighborhoods for homebuyers in five markets where Opendoor is available. Interested in learning more about where people want to live? Here are the top 10 hottest ZIP codes for homebuyers in Atlanta, Dallas Fort-Worth, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Raleigh-Durham.

Atlanta, GA

With easy access to green parks, state forests, and iconic tree-lined city views, Atlanta has been dubbed the “city in the forest.” In addition to its wide range of outdoor activities, residents love Atlanta for its thriving food scene and strong sports culture. Our data shows some of the most popular cities for homebuyers in the Atlanta metro are Cherokee, Newton, Fulton, and Rockdale.

“Atlanta is a global city, yet makes everyone feel local. As one of the fastest growing metro areas in the U.S., the booming Atlanta economy offers extraordinary access to new job opportunities. The added benefits of very affordable housing, easy access to the Appalachian mountains, daily flights to every continent, and a deeply ingrained spirit of progress make Atlanta a destination city for newcomers from around the country, and around the world,” our Atlanta General Manager Jay Cherry shares.

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Dallas has emerged as a highly desirable place to live, particularly for those focused on business. The sprawling Texan metropolis boasts entrepreneurial opportunity, is home to more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, and was ranked as one of the best places for college graduates to start a career. Tarrant, Arlington, Frisco, and Denton were some of the hottest spots in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for home shoppers, according to our data.

“Dallas is extremely business-friendly, and is one of the largest corporate headquarters concentrations for a variety of industries. With increasing job opportunities, we’ve experienced less unemployment compared to other cities across Texas. And its lower cost of living makes housing affordable for many buyers to get more space and land. Plus, there’s plenty of family activities, a diverse nightlife and an amazing food scene,” local Texas General Manager Chris Westrom observes.

Los Angeles, California

Though primarily known for its entertainment industry, great weather, and picturesque mountains and coastlines, Los Angeles also has a number of great neighborhoods for families. It’s a popular destination for millennials, too, and ranked as the number one place they’d like to live. Our data revealed buyers are looking predominately at areas surrounding the Los Angeles area, in cities like Fullerton, Malibu, Santa Clarita, Costa Mesa, and Ventura.

“Besides the obvious draws—sun, vibes, celebrities—the LA housing market’s continued strength is rooted in a diverse set of local industries like entertainment and aerospace that haven’t gone fully remote. Within LA, low interest rates and the need for larger homes are driving buyers to more suburban SoCal cities like Newbury Park, Fullerton, and Cypress where homes are closer to the median California home price of $700,000,” according to our Los Angeles Buyer General Manager, Judd Schoenholtz.

Phoenix, Arizona

Residents love this desert metro’s bustling vibe, high quality of life, and affordable cost of living, so it’s no surprise that census data shows Phoenix is America’s fastest growing city. Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, and Sun City saw some of the most home visits in the Phoenix metropolitan.

“Housing costs and taxes are super favorable, and people are increasingly flocking here from both coasts. It’s sunny an average of 296 days per year, and is a really friendly place to live, which I personally love. The Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport was even ranked as the friendliest airport in the U.S.,” our Phoenix General Manager Michelle Meyers explains.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Earlier this year, Raleigh-Durham was ranked as America’s number one metro for movers, and Raleigh has remained a popular destination for homebuyers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Our research shows that Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, and Feltonville were among the cities that experienced the most interest from home shoppers.

“Whether you’re hoping to live in Durham, Raleigh or a nearby town, you can still find an affordable home for you and your family under $250,000. And if you’re paying $2,000 or more in rent for a city apartment somewhere else, that could get you a 3,500 square foot palace with a backyard and good school district in the Triangle. We continue to see lots of young families move here from places like Boston, San Francisco and New York City,” our Raleigh-Durham General Manager Jon Enberg notes.

At Opendoor, our vision is to make buying and selling homes simpler and more convenient. And in today’s environment, safe and contact-free options are also essential. We’ve always offered self-tours of our homes, but the process now includes 30-minute scheduled time slots to ensure only one buyer at a time. We also provide the option for video tours, so you can virtually visit homes right from your couch—which is becoming an increasingly popular way to tour homes.

Thinking about beginning a new chapter in 2021? Learn more about how buying and selling to Opendoor compares to the traditional process. More than 80,000 people to date have turned to Opendoor for the convenience and certainty we bring, especially in an uncertain market. Wherever life takes you, we want to make your move simple, convenient, and safe. Get started here.

Kerry Melcher is the Head of Brokerage & Sales and in-house real estate expert at Opendoor.

Methodology: For purposes of this article, top ZIP codes are defined as those that saw the most interest with actual in-home visits to Opendoor-owned properties from prospective buyers during the four months of June, July, August, and September 2020, without adjusting for the size of the ZIP code. Home shoppers who visit a listed Opendoor home unlock the front door with our app, providing anonymous insights like the volume of visits and homebuyer interest in particular ZIP codes.