As demand for housing stays strong and inventory remains low, home prices continue to rise in Colorado Springs. Prices are substantially lower, though, in unincorporated Widefield-Security south of the city.

The nation’s hottest neighborhood for housing isn’t found in a bustling East Coast city, a tree-lined Midwestern town or a laid-back oceanfront community in Southern California.

Instead, it’s right here in the Pikes Peak region — though not in Colorado Springs.

The 80911 ZIP code that covers unincorporated Security-Widefield south of town, whose many older and less-expensive homes are popular even if they lack the sizzle of upscale properties, has been ranked as the nation’s No. 1 place to buy a home in 2020 by Realtor.com, the California-based online real estate service.

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Realtor.com’s sixth annual hottest ZIP codes report, released Tuesday, analyzed 20,000 areas nationwide during the second quarter; all of the areas had at least 13 active listings each month.

ZIP codes were ranked by how fast homes sold in those areas and how frequently listings were viewed online by prospective buyers. Realtor.com also limited hot ZIP codes to one per metro area to avoid having a single red-hot locale dominate its list.

According to Realtor.com, homes in 80911 spent an average of 13 days on the market before selling — fastest among the 20,000 ZIP codes. The time that homes stayed on the market in 80911 was 20 days less than the overall Colorado Springs area and 58 days shorter than the national median.

The 80911 median list price of $287,000, while up 6.5% from a year earlier, was 39% lower than the rest of the Springs area and 13% below the national median, Realtor.com’s report said.

At the same time, 77% of 80911 residents were homeowners, while the ownership rate by millennials was 62% compared with 43% for the rest of the country.

The 80911 ZIP code is generally east of Fort Carson and southwest of Milton E. Proby Parkway and Powers Boulevard. Its residents include many people who work in Colorado Springs and members of the military deployed at Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base.

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“This area offers residents a great quality of life including affordable homes, especially compared to nearby Denver, and strong schools such as Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School,” Realtor.com said in its report.

Dianna Dalton-Daily, a real estate agent with The Platinum Group Realtors in Colorado Springs who markets homes in 80911, said lower prices make the area extremely attractive to buyers.

The area also is convenient to military bases and Interstate 25, has good schools and boasts lower property taxes for residents, Dalton-Daily said.

“People are getting more value for their money,” she said.

Big backyards and mature trees in much of Security-Widefield — where many homes date back at least to the 1970s — also appeal to buyers, some of whom are spending more time at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dalton-Daily said.

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“It’s kind of that ‘Brady Bunch’ feel, with larger yards and big trees,” she said. “Especially with COVID and people not being able to go anywhere, their home has to be their sanctuary. They’re going to be spending a lot more time in their home and their yards than ever before. A private backyard is really appealing to people.”

Last year, Realtor.com ranked the 80916 ZIP code in southeast Colorado Springs as the nation’s 10th hottest ZIP code; in 2018, the Springs’ 80922 ZIP code on the northeast side came in at No. 2.

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