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A tiny town outside Kansas City, Missouri, drew the attention of millions of Americans, who in 2022 searched Zillow for homes in the area at a rate higher than in any other locale in the U.S., the portal revealed Wednesday.

Prairie Village, Kansas, on the Kansas-Missouri state line, was Zillow’s most popular housing market in 2022, drawing unusually high traffic and leading the site for daily page views, according to the search behemoth.

The upscale suburban village features parks, restaurants and boutiques and has long been a sought-after ZIP code in the Kansas City area.

“I think when most people are looking at houses, they are looking at building a home, and that goes beyond the four walls of the structure you live in and expands to the community,” Earvin Ray, owner of Ray Homes in Kansas City, said in a statement.  “Prairie Village offers the trifecta of beautiful homes, a spectrum of accessible price points and great amenities, such as highly rated schools, community events and local shopping.”

The Kansas City metropolitan area is one of the areas in which competition for homes is still intense, in-line with many experts’ predictions that the hottest market of 2023 will be in the affordable pockets of the Midwest and Northeast, as the Western and Southern markets that burned bright during 2021 and the first half of 2022 become unattainable for average homebuyers.

Rounding out the most overall popular towns were Derry, New Hampshire, followed by Bon Air, Virginia.

Most popular big city: Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Grand Rapids topped the popularity chart for cities with over 200,000 residents, Zillow said, leading with the most page views per listing.

The Midwestern metro boasts relatively affordable homes and a growing selection of breweries and restaurants attracting foodies and beer lovers.

The runners up in the big city category were Richmind, Virginia and Omaha, Nebraska, according to Zillow.

Most popular seaside town: Beverly, Massachusetts

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The coastal town outside Boston has miles of coastline and accessible public parks, and lead the coastal town category in page views and relatively low home values, according to Zillow.

The town also carries historical significance, with some historians dubbing it the birthplace of the American industrial revolution due to it being the home of the first cotton mill in America in 1787.

Following it in the coastal town category where Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Newport, Oregon according to Zillow. 

Most popular retirement town: Dunedin, Florida

Getty Images.

The Gulf Coast city of Dunedin clocked the highest pageviews in the retirement town category, which Zillow defines as a town where 33 percent or more of the population is over 65 years old.

Dunedin’s waterfront location,  local country clubs, relatively affordable housing prices and warm weather makes it especially popular with retirees.

All of the top three towns in the retirement town category were in the Sunshine State, with Sarasota placing second and St. Pete Beach placing third. Florida real estate became especially hot during the pandemic, and has stayed hot while other Pandemic boom-towns in the West have cooled as the market slows.

Most popular vacation town: Lavallette, New Jersey

The Jersey Shore beach town located on the barrier island off mainland New Jersey is popular with vacationers from New York, from which it is approximately 90 minutes by car from.

With a typical home value of $984,157, the town clocked the most page views in the vacation town category, according to Zillow.

Lavallette was followed by Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, and South Lake Tahoe, California, in the vacation town category. Zillow defined vacation towns as at least 33 percent of housing units are designated as non-primary residences. 

Most popular college town: Tempe, Arizona

Credit: Getty Images

Just east of Phoenix, Tempe is home to Arizona State University with an undergraduate enrollment of 64,716 in 2021.

The city was home to the secondf highest number of rental listings among college towns studied for the second year in a row, following Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to Zillow, but had the highest pageviews.

Smithfield, Rhode Island, home of Bryant University, came in second place, while Bowling Green, Ohio, home of Bowling Green State University, clocked in at third.

Email Ben Verde

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