What are the most popular places to buy a home in the United States?

Published February 14, 2022
Last updated July 8, 2022

What are the most popular places to buy a home in the United States?

It turns out that there’s no need for people from San Francisco or Los Angeles to look far from their cities since they can find what they’re seeking right in front of their doorstep.

Zillow analyzed thousands of ZIP codes throughout America in order to determine which locations were most desired among homebuyers last year. 

In order to estimate the demand for a certain area, the Zillow team considered property page views, price appreciation, housing inventory and other related data points.

The results reflected trends we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic – Small towns that offer great year-round outdoor activities and the ability to work remotely, not too far away from larger metropolitan areas are in high demand.

These are the most popular cities in America for 2021.

Most Popular Place in the United States

#1 South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe was the Most Popular Place in 2021 and also took the first place in the ranking of the most popular vacation destinations and small towns.

South Lake Tahoe had a high average number of 5,500 views per listing and it’s relatively easy to commute to the Bay Area, Sacramento, Carson City and Reno. With an abundance of outdoor activities and stunning scenery, it boasts vacation-style, small town living along the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada. 

#2 Calabasas

Calabasas is the opposite of a normal small town. The city of stars is a familiar phrase that Calabasassians use to describe their hometown. After all, this area has been home for some Hollywood royalty such as Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Drake, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, as well as Robert Pattinson and his girlfriend Anne Hathaway. The average home in Calabasas costs above $1.5 Million.

#3 Malibu

The City of Malibu is a quaint little coastal town in Southern California known for its breathtaking beaches, jaw-dropping homes and Mediterranean climate. Located just outside of Los Angeles in Southern California’s Santa Monica mountains with a mediterranean climate that provides perfect weather year round. Malibu has been historically home to Hollywood celebrities and other rich and famous residents.

Most Popular Beach Town in the United States

#1 Newport, Oregon

The bustling city of Newport, Oregon is located on the central coast and the stunning views of the ocean and lush greenery in this city by far make it one of Zillow’s most desirable places to live. It has an interesting history as it was once known for its shipping industry. Today you can enjoy picturesque views with your family at any time during day or night thanks to beautiful beaches that are just a couple of blocks away. Homes here sell for an average price of $428,534.

#2 Naples, Florida

The elegant and luxurious town of Naples, Florida is a haven for tourists looking to relax on the beautiful beaches or enjoy some shopping in their spare time. The perfect getaway for luxury shoppers, serenity and sunshine awaits in Naples. The miles of pristine beaches are home to world-class resorts with soft white sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see.

#3 Lincoln City, Oregon

Lincoln City is a small town full of charm and good times. It made it one of the top three locations for similar reasons as Newport and Naples. With an Oregon coast feel, it’s not hard to see why this place has been capturing families’ attention for generations! From kite-flying on the beach or salt water taffy in one direction;to crab fishing right off pier 38 – there are plenty of activities that will keep everyone happy all day long (and night).

Most popular retirement town in the United States

Lavallette, New Jersey

The Zillow team analyzed retirement towns by using U.S. Census data to look at areas where more than 33% of the residents are over 65 years old and live without any children. 

Lavallette, New Jersey is a picturesque city, nestled on the Barnegat Peninsula in Ocean County, that offers its residents many amenities. It has one of the highest numbers in retiree populations and also the most page views per listings on Zillow in the category of ‘retirement towns’. 

The typical home value is $874,325, which may sound high compared to other areas, however it’s also close to major metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia.

Most popular vacation town in the United States

Big Bear Lake, California

The pandemic has caused a sharp increase in demand for vacation homes. Areas with higher numbers of vacation homes, also saw significantly higher page views and sales growth than the national average. 

If you’re looking to get away from it all, then look no further than Big Bear Lake. This Southern California city has everything that vacationers could ask for: plenty of parks and mountains as well as hiking trails. Additionally there are one-of-a-kind housing units available in this area which make finding your perfect spot even easier than expected. 

Big Bear Lake is a beautiful, expansive body of water that has been the subject matter for many summertime activities. Some people come there to fish or hiking and mountain biking; however it’s also an excellent spot for boating – with lakefront property available as well. The most abundant types (and species) found on this particular island chain are trout bass catfish.

Other great spots that ranked highly on Zillow’s list of favorite vacation towns include California’s Lake Arrowhead, a community in the San Bernardino National Forest; and Holmes Beach, Florida which is only one hour drive from Bradenton.