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Norwalk and Southington named most popular home buying destinations in the US

A woman walks up the stairs to a newly renovated unit in the Colonial Village public housing complex in Norwalk.
Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public
A woman walks up the stairs to a newly renovated unit in the Colonial Village public housing complex in Norwalk.

Norwalk and Southington, Connecticut, have ranked among the top zip codes in the nation for house hunters.

A market report, published by Realtor.com, ranked the 10 top municipalities for homebuyers this season.

Southington ranked second in the nation for the popularity of its housing market, while Norwalk came in eighth.

The zip code ranking is based on supply and demand in the community. And it is also based on locations where homes are sold the quickest and home listings get the most clicks online.

Many of the most popular zip codes are towns near high-cost, metropolitan hubs, like New Haven, Hartford and New York, Realtor.com Economic Data Analyst Hannah Jones said.

“Areas where people can still afford homes, are still seeing buyer demand. In areas where people can't afford homes are not seeing buyer demand,” Jones said. “So you just see these affordable areas crop up, because there are areas where people can still participate in the housing market.”

The city of Gahanna, Ohio, located outside Columbus, ranked most popular in the country among house hunters.

The Northeast dominated the top ten list, with all but four zip codes hailing from the region.

Southington has a strong housing market with fairly priced homes, but the town’s Director of Economic and Community Development Lou Perillo said he was still stunned by the results of the report.

“Quite honestly, we're surprised at being number two in the country just because, you know, we're unaware of how hot other markets are. We knew we had a very strong market,” Perillo said. “I always say everything sells and selling is just a matter of time. I was surprised to see our number two ranking, but I'm not surprised to learn that it's a place that a lot of people want to be.”

Southington’s proximity to larger cities including Hartford and New Haven may have contributed to the town’s popularity, Jones said.

Norwalk has seen an increase in residents moving to the city since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling said.

Many New Yorkers left the city during the pandemic and landed in Fairfield County suburban communities like Norwalk. With the increase in population, the city is working to ensure Norwalk’s infrastructure isn’t strained.

“When you see a growth of this nature, obviously, we want to make sure that we monitor everything. We're very comfortable that this has not made a significant impact on our student body enrollment,” Rilling said.

Norwalk’s schools and water supply aren’t being overwhelmed, Rilling said. Additionally, the sewage water treatment plant, which has a history of capacity and leakage concerns, is within capacity.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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