Westchase 4th most popular market in US, Zillow reports

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Real estate company Zillow released a new ranking of most popular places to buy a house in the U.S. and Florida made the top 10 list.

This time instead of Tampa or St. Petersburg, the ranking was elsewhere, but not far away. Westchase, just 30 minutes from Tampa, was the fourth most popular market to buy in across the U.S.

“The most popular markets so far this year paint a picture of how remote work has changed the U.S. housing landscape,” Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud said. “Demand for suburban homes found an extra gear last summer, perhaps as buyers gained more clarity in their employers’ return-to-office policies. Research suggests the rise of remote work is responsible for roughly half of home price growth during the pandemic. How many employers continue to allow this flexibility for employees to live where they choose will go a long way toward determining which markets are most in demand in the future.”

Zillow said the values of homes in the suburbs grew fast as buyer interest increased, “a reversal of previous norms” and different compared to the first 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said an embrace of remote work was a big part of the change, where home buyers were trying to “prioritize affordability and space over a short commute.”

Of the top 10 markets, Westchase was the only one in the Sunshine State. Zillow reported the typical Westchase home is worth $537,668, and that prices have gone up nearly 10% in the first three months of 2022.

Zooming out from Florida, home values across the U.S. are reportedly still growing, and up 20.9% in the past year. Zilow said the mix of rising costs and mortgage rates going up made monthly payments to buy a house 52.5% higher than in 2021. On top of that, higher costs have not slowed down the competition to buy.

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“Homes are selling as fast as they ever have,” Zillow reported. “After only seven days for a typical home.” Almost half of those houses are also selling above list prices. The company said buyer demand is strong enough to keep the market in motion, even with rising mortgage rates.

They said it’s creating more challenges when it comes to how affordable buying a house is.

“Year-over-year home value growth set a record for the 13th consecutive month in April. The typical U.S. home is worth $344,141, 20.9% higher than a year ago. That record pace of growth comes despite rising mortgage rates eating away at what home buyers can afford,” Zillow said. “The monthly mortgage payment on the typical U.S. home is 11.7% higher than it would have been in March, and 52.5% higher than a year ago, assuming a 30-year mortgage with a 20% down payment.”

Zillow reported Tampa home prices are up 35% compared to last year.

Here’s the breakdown of top 10 cities people want to buy a house in, from Zillow.

  1. Woodinville, Washington (Seattle)
  2. Burke, Virginia (Washington, D.C.)
  3. Highlands Ranch, Colorado (Denver)
  4. Westchase, Florida (Tampa)
  5. Edmonds, Washington (Seattle)
  6. Yorba Linda, California (Los Angeles)
  7. Johns Creek, Georgia (Atlanta)
  8. Tustin, California (Los Angeles)
  9. Ballwin, Missouri (St. Louis)
  10. Golden, Colorado (Denver)

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