Millard area zips into top 20 list of real estate hot zones in U.S.

To those living in southwest Omaha's 68144 ZIP code: You're hot.

Realtor.com today released its list of "Hottest ZIP Codes in America" when it comes to housing market conditions. And the Millard area's 68144 rose to the top 20 of about 32,000 ZIP codes analyzed. Specifically, it ranked No. 16.

In creating the list, researchers said they looked at the amount of time it takes properties to sell and how frequently home listings are viewed.

They said the results reflect millennials gravitating to relatively affordable suburbs, particularly ones that offer a variety of entertainment.

"The standouts are relatively affordable suburbs with local 'it' factors such as hiking trails, great restaurants and nightlife," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com, a real estate listings website affiliatedwith theNational Association of Realtors. "With the largest cohort of millennials turning 30 in 2020, we can expect these types of areas to stay in demand."

Other factors heating up top markets include: a large share of older millennials; a high millennial ownership rate; strong job market and high salaries.

Rising to the top of the pack were ZIP codes in Watauga, Texas; Livonia, Michigan; Kentwood, Michigan; Medford, Massachusetts; and Littleton, Colorado.

Homes in this year's top 10 markets are selling in an average of 21 days — 50 days faster than in the rest of the country, the report says.

In the Millard area, homes are selling in an average of 26 days, 45 days faster than the rest of the country, says Javier Vivas, realtor.com's director of economic research. He said the website's users view home listings in the Millard area three times more often than homes in the rest of the country.

"The Millard area is popular because it is affordable and it's in a fantastic school district," said Vicki Kovar of CBSHome Real Estate. "68144 has great access to the Interstate, shopping, restaurants."

She said the average home sales price in the last six months in that ZIP code was $192,000.

Contributing to the quick turnaround of for-sale houses in the broader Omaha area is a continued shortage of available homes. According to the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, the number of homes on the market at the start of this month was about 2,500, down 7 percent over the same time last year. Inventory has plummeted from a high of 5,400 houses in 2007.

So far this year, the median sales price of an existing home in the Omaha area is $171,000, an increase of 6 percent over the same period last year. The median sales price of new houses is up about 7 percent, to $304,866.

Vivas said Omaha's metrowide market has been heating up, but his colleagues were surprised to see an individual Omaha ZIP code that high on the list. It was the first time in three years of producing the list that an Omaha ZIP code broke the top 20, he said.

"This is one of those prime examples of a suburban neighborhood where millennials can actually buy a house," he said. "There is good job creation so the economy is good enough to power those purchases."

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