In Redfin’s newest report on the Hottest Neighborhoods of 2016, a few key points stand out.

It wasn’t a simple task to be listed. Redfin analysts studied access to public transit, affordability and the aesthetic desirability of the neighborhood.


Redfin’s list of hottest Houston neighborhoods

They also took a dive into the top neighborhoods in a select list of desirable metros. Houston was on that list, and their metros were:

  • Norhill

The neighborhood median sales price came in at $499,500. Buyers got almost all of what they were asking, with an average sale-to-list percentage of 97.8 percent. And, those home spent a median of 40 days on the market.

  • Oaks of Atascocita (Atascocita)

With a median of only 27 days on the market, Atascocita homes also fetched 98.7 percent of what their owners were asking for them. The neighborhood is a bargain, with a median sales price $176,000.

  • Briarcroft

Briarcroft homes are reasonably priced, and don’t last long. The median sales price there is $199,500, with 16 median days on the market. Sellers end up paying 98.1 percent of what owners ask for the homes.

In past versions of the list, California cities made good showings. But, as Redfin points out in the narrative accompanying the list, all the component parts mattered. And, West Coast cities are pricing themselves right out of this list.

How does Redfin rank the hottest neighborhoods? tracks a variety of pieces of information to compile the lists. They tally their site’s visits to particular homes, and which homes customers mark as their favorites. Add in some insight from Redfin’s agents, and what results is a market pulse taken by the people who participate in local markets.

What they’ve learned is that affordability is king.

The Redfin data indicates that many potential buyers who sat on the sidelines last year are back. Buyers have done their research and are looking critically at markets neighborhood by neighborhood to find  pockets of affordable homes coupled with offering that complete the whole livability picture.

Another trend that has emerged is that buyers are looking for homes and neighborhoods with character. Redfin agents said that buyers are looking past subdivisions with the same house repeated over and over again. Instead, buyers are looking toward homes in neighborhoods that quietly feature charming original architecture and tree-lined streets.

“For the first time, the San Francisco Bay Area is absent from Redfin’s top 10 hottest neighborhoods list,” Redfin’s chief economist Nela Richardson said in a statement accompanying the rankings.

“After the median sale price surpassed a million dollars in March and inventory dropped to historic lows, San Franciscans have been feeling uninspired by local housing prospects. San Diego and Los Angeles, home to some of the nation’s highest real estate prices, also failed to make the top ranks this year.”

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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