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The real estate website Trulia recently released its Winter 2012 Metro Movers report, which examines all property searches made by homebuyers and renters to see where they hope to buy and rent next.
Topping the list of the most popular places for online house hunters is the Palm Bay-Melbourne –Titusville metropolitan area of Florida. The Sunshine State makes six more appearances in the top 10 most popular metro areas for house hunters. Despite the foreclosure backlog, more people want to move to Florida than leave. Of them, the majority of long-distance seekers of central and east coast Florida properties are from New York City. Meanwhile, Chicagoans dominate long distance searches for properties on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the report says.
More than one-third of property searches nationwide originate from more than 100 miles away. Out-of-towners tend to search in well-known neighborhoods such as TriBeCa in New York, Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, and Georgetown in Washington, DC.
“Finding the best place to live in a new and unfamiliar place can be tough. House hunters naturally start their search in a city’s famous neighborhoods but don’t know to look in the neighborhoods that are favored by locals,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. To help prospective homebuyers and renters, Trulia is offering the “inside scoop” on where locals want to live — places that are often overlooked by out-of-towners. According to Kolko, some of these best kept secret neighborhoods have seen recent gentrification or redevelopment; others have been quietly upscale neighborhoods for decades.
What follows are 10 desirable neighborhoods that tend to fly under the radar in their major American cities.
By Colleen Kane
Posted 6 March 2012
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Secret Neighborhood: Hunters Point, Long Island City, Queens
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price (from Nov. ’11 – Jan. ’12): $628,203
This sub-section of Long Island City is located one subway stop across the East River from Manhattan, so it’s only about a five-minute ride from Grand Central Station. As such, while the borough of Queens might sound remote to those unfamiliar with New York, the once-industrial and working class ‘hood of Hunter’s Point has been gentrifying for years now.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Hollywood Hills
Secret Neighborhood: La Brea/Hancock Park
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $847,625
Out-of-towners might not know the area names, but they recognize this scene: The palm tree-lined Windsor Boulevard in Hancock Park is nearly as familiar a sight as the Hollywood sign visible as you drive the road. Definitely not a bad location — Beverly Hills is just to the west and Silver Lake is situated not far off to the east.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Near North Side
Secret Neighborhood: West Town/Wicker Park
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $315,500
Wicker Park, a neighborhood of the West Town community area, was Chicago’s Polish Downtown but is now a center of hipster culture, dining, and nightlife. Adding to the Wicker Park appeal is a park with a different name: Humboldt Park.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Pacific Heights
Secret Neighborhood: Diamond Heights/Glen Park
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $817,000
These two neighboring and less-heralded ‘hoods are the mountain with the views (Diamond Heights) and the quaint valley village (Glen Park). The latter has charming independent shops and saloons as well as a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Coral Way
Secret Neighborhood: Key Biscayne
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $885,000
The village of Key Biscayne is located on its own island south of Miami Beach and across Biscayne Bay from Miami. The island was better known as the country’s largest coconut plantation for the first half of the last century, and it wasn’t developed for residential use until 1951. But the population has boomed in recent years with the addition of condominium complexes, and after concerns about population density arose a charter was approved in 2007 to allow voters to approve of future land use. It’s now a tropical residential and resort community.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Georgetown
Secret Neighborhood: Logan Circle
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $438,500
This residential neighborhood is centered around the Logan traffic circle. Its stately Victorians survived low times in the 1980s and 1990s when the area was on the skids, marked by troubles with drugs and prostitution. But during the 2000s, gentrification swept through and the neighborhood became the site of an enormous Whole Foods.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Back Bay
Secret Neighborhood: Fort Point/Seaport District
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $749,500
Fort Point and the Seaport District are located on the waterfront, across Boston Harbor from Logan Airport. The area was also known as the South Boston Seaport District, or Southie, hearkening to the time when it was mostly abandoned mills and warehouses. But that time has passed and the prices and rents have climbed — in fact, the local median sales price is up 6.3% over last year.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Great Uptown
Secret Neighborhood: Spring Branch East
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $ N/A (A recent Average Listing Price was $424,149)
Spring Branch East is a wedge-shaped neighborhood located to the northwest of downtown Houston. It has numerous ethnic eateries, access to Interstate 10, the 610 Loop, and other highways.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Preston Hollow
Secret Neighborhood: Greenway Parks
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $80,931
Greenway Parks is a 150-acre neighborhood located in North Dallas, 3 miles from downtown. It was designed in 1927 to be pedestrian-oriented, with homes surrounding open private parkways. It features homes designed by numerous architects including O’Neal Ford and Howard Meyer.
Most Searched-for Neighborhood: Greenwood
Secret Neighborhood: Sunset Hill/North Beach
Secret Neighborhood’s Median Sales Price: $365,000
This peaceful and verdant area, located on the Puget Sound with views of Shilshole and Elliot Bays, is a haven for hikers, photographers, and lovers of the outdoors.