As we prepare to bid 2022 adieu, many of us are reflecting on the last 12 months with nostalgia for another year gone by. Zillow is participating in these 2022 recaps in its own way by looking back on the most salient trends and happenings in its industry as a way to prepare for the year ahead.
As part of its year-end review, Zillow has just released its most popular cities index for 2022, in which they reveal the most popular city of the year, along with the most popular college town, vacation town, seaside town, small town, and retirement town.
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Using Zillow traffic by number of page views, available housing inventory, price appreciation, sales data, and other housing metrics that indicate consumer demand, Zillow crowned Prairie Village, Kansas the most popular city overall in 2022. This represents the rising interest in the Midwest for homebuyers and indicates a dramatic reversal from 2021's West Coast-centric leaders, which saw Lake Tahoe as the most popular city.
"The most popular places on Zillow showcase a few trends we've noticed over the course of the year — most notably that affordability has become the chief driver of the market," said Anushna Prakash, economic data analyst at Zillow, in a press release. "The Midwest and most Northeastern markets saw relatively small run-ups in home values over the course of the pandemic, and now are still affordable enough for residents to shop in."
Prairie Village, Kansas is an upscale suburban community just minutes from downtown Kansas City, and is home to activity-filled parks, posh shops, and restaurants. The Kansas City metro area at large is one of a handful of Midwestern markets seeing consistent competition for houses because of affordability. According to Zillow, mortgage costs (in relation to income) and the years needed for renters to save up for a down payment on homes in the Kansas City metro area, are far lower than the national average.
Prairie Village is followed on Zillow's 2022 index by Derry, New Hampshire and Bon Air, Virginia. The rest of the superlative-winners from the study are as follows:
Most popular large city
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Most popular seaside town
Most popular retirement town
Most popular small town
Windham, New Hampshire
Most popular vacation town
Lavallette, New Jersey
Top college town