Tempe named most popular college town in Zillow in 2021


South Lake Tahoe is Zillow’s most popular location and Tempe is 2021’s most popular college town, leading a west coast near the most popular spots of the year, including the most popular vacation town, the seaside town and small town.

Based on Zillow’s pageviews, inventory of available homes, price appreciation, and other housing barometers that indicate consumer demand, Zillow analyzed thousands of zip codes within 100 largest metropolitan areas nationwide to create a ranking of the site’s most popular US cities.


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“The most popular places on Zillow reflect a few trends we’ve seen throughout the pandemic,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “People looked to Zillow for an escape and dreamed of the possibilities that a move might bring. Meanwhile, those who can now work remotely, at least occasionally, are exploring new opportunities in fields that offer relatively affordable prices and year-round outdoor living.

Most popular college city: Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, just outside of Phoenix, is home to Arizona State University. The city has one of the largest undergraduate and graduate student populations of any city analyzed, as well as one of the highest number of pageviews per rental ad.

Zillow’s second most popular college town is Claremont, California, home to The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of seven colleges including Pomona College and Scripps College.

Narragansett, Rhode Island, home to the University of Rhode Island, ranks third in this category.

Most popular in all of Zillow: South Lake Tahoe, CA

South Lake Tahoe offers vacation style living along the Sierra Nevada’s largest freshwater lake. The city also took first place in Zillow’s ranking of the most popular small towns and vacation towns.

Its high number of views on Zillow – 5,469 pageviews per ad – catapulted it to number one. Lake Tahoe offers homebuyers a small town vibe, with an easy commute to the Bay Area and Sacramento to the west, and Carson City and Reno to the east. The typical South Lake Tahoe home is valued at $ 692,792.

Calabasas, Calif., A Los Angeles suburb teeming with prominent celebrities, completed the top three; and Malibu, a southern California town known for its breathtaking beachfront homes.

Most popular beach town: Newport, Oregon

The town of Newport, along the central Oregon coast, had a high number of pageviews per ad and one of the highest numbers of ads on Zillow that mention the word “beach” in its description. The typical house in Newport is valued at $ 428,534.

Naples, Florida and Lincoln City, Oregon round out the three most popular beach towns.

Most popular retirement city: Lavallette, New Jersey

Using the latest available data from the US Census, Zillow defined “retirement towns” as areas where at least 33% of the population is over 65 and has no children or other relatives (other than their spouse) living at home. This charming town, nestled on the Barnegat Peninsula in Ocean County, New Jersey, offers its residents many amenities. Lavallette has one of the largest retirees in its population and the highest number of page views per listing among all regions analyzed by Zillow for this category. The typical value of a house in Lavallette is $ 874,325.

Next on the list are Dunedin, Florida on the Gulf Coast between Clearwater and Tarpon Springs, and St. Pete Beach, Florida. Seven of the 10 most popular retirement cities are in Florida.

Most popular small town: Calabasas, CA

Zillow defined “small towns” as towns with between 15,000 and 25,000 inhabitants. After South Lake Tahoe on this list is Calabasas. Calabasas is not your everyday little town. The typical home here is valued at over $ 1.5 million, and the area is known as a hotspot for famous residents. Zillow surfers also spend time exploring dream homes in Evergreen, Colorado, which came third in this category, behind South Lake Tahoe and Calabasas.

Most popular resort: Big Bear Lake, CA

Vacation towns have been all the rage since the start of the pandemic, areas with the highest number of vacation homes seeing more interest in Zillow and higher pending sales growth than the country as a whole.

Big Bear Lake is a popular area for those who enjoy the outdoors. This Southern California city has all the amenities that vacationers seek, including many parks, lakes, mountains, and hiking trails. In addition, the city has one of the highest inventories of secondary use, resort or leisure housing units.

Other vacation towns that feature high on Zillow’s list include Lake Arrowhead in California, a community in the San Bernardino National Forest; and Holmes Beach, Florida, a town on Anna Maria Island, about an hour’s drive from Bradenton.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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