Zillow, the renowned real estate portal, has delved into user search data and various metrics to unveil the most sought-after markets for relocation in 2023. The East Coast emerges as a hotspot, with small towns in the Northeast claiming the limelight among Zillow surfers this year.
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Top 10 Most Popular Markets on Zillow for Last Year:
The Northeast Dominates. The most popular market among Zillow surfers in 2023 is West Chester, Pennsylvania. In contrast to the West Coast's dominance in 2021 and the Midwest's top spot last year, the Northeast takes center stage this year.
Zillow users exhibited a preference for smaller cities in 2023. Out of the top 10 most popular markets, only one, Manchester, New Hampshire, boasts a population exceeding 100,000. Most cities on the list are less than half that size.
- West Chester, Pennsylvania
- Nashua, New Hampshire
- Manchester, New Hampshire
- Wethersfield, Connecticut
- West Hartford, Connecticut
- Stow, Ohio
- Middletown, Connecticut
- Twinsburg, Ohio
- Newington, Connecticut
- Concord, New Hampshire
Chula Vista, California, stands out as the most popular large city, while South Portland, Maine, claims the title of the most sought-after seaside town. Vermilion, Ohio, takes the lead among vacation towns, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, edges out Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, as the top retirement town. West Chester also secures the first position among college towns, with Kent, Ohio, closely following.
West Chester, Pennsylvania: The Overall Winner
West Chester, Pennsylvania, a quaint town near Philadelphia with a population of about 20,000, secures the top spot on Zillow's list of 2023's most popular markets. The town has experienced an approximately 8% increase in home values over the past year, driven by strong interest among Zillow users. The typical home in West Chester is valued at around $584,000, positioning it among the more expensive cities in Pennsylvania. However, its relative affordability compared to larger cities like New York City and Washington, D.C., makes it an attractive and affordable option for those seeking a break from city life.
West Chester ranks within the top 100 cities in Zillow page views per listing among nearly 2,300 cities, significantly outperforming its size. Almost two-thirds of these views originate from outside the city, signaling potential interest in relocation.
While West Chester claims the top spot, New England towns emerge as favorites among Zillow surfers in 2023, with seven out of the top 10 most popular markets located in either New Hampshire or Connecticut.
Chula Vista, California: Most Popular Large City
Chula Vista, California, stands out as the most popular large city among Zillow surfers, with a population of 250,000 or greater. While affordability plays a pivotal role for many home shoppers on Zillow, the allure of the San Diego area also contributes to its popularity. The typical home in Chula Vista commands a value of approximately $808,000. Notably, San Diego itself, with a typical home value of about $962,000, secures the third spot in this ranking.
Fort Wayne, Indiana, claims the second position in Zillow's most popular large cities ranking, followed by Cincinnati and Durham in the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
South Portland, Maine: Most Popular Seaside Town
South Portland emerges as the most popular seaside town among Zillow surfers in 2023. If you have your sights set on a home in South Portland, quick action is advised, as homes typically found buyers within just one week on the market.
Two Connecticut cities, West Haven and Milford, secure the second and third positions as the most popular seaside towns, while Oceanside, California, claims the top spot among Pacific Ocean destinations, ranking fourth overall.
Vermilion, Ohio: Most Popular Vacation Town
Situated along the picturesque shores of Lake Erie, Vermilion takes the lead in Zillow's rankings for the most popular vacation towns in 2023. Known for its appeal to boaters and those seeking old-fashioned charm, Vermilion is a sought-after summer destination.
This year's results may reflect the impact of higher mortgage rates on those seeking vacation homes. While last year's most popular vacation town, Lavallette, New Jersey, boasted a typical home value exceeding $1 million, the typical home in Vermilion is valued at not much more than $225,000.
Pinehurst, North Carolina: Most Popular Retirement Town
In a shift from last year, the most popular retirement towns of 2023 are located in the Carolinas, surpassing Florida's dominance. Pinehurst, North Carolina, emerges as the top retirement town among Zillow surfers, narrowly edging out Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Both cities boast warm climates and an abundance of golf courses, making them attractive choices for retirees seeking an idyllic setting.
West Chester, Pennsylvania, and Kent, Ohio: Most Popular College Towns
West Chester, Pennsylvania, not only claims the title of Zillow's most popular market overall in 2023 but also secures the top spot as the most popular college town. Following closely is Kent, Ohio, home to Kent State University.
The top five most popular college towns, according to Zillow's rankings, include Newark, Delaware, San Luis Obispo, California, and Ypsilanti, Michigan.