With only about 25,000 residents, Watauga lives in the shadow of larger neighbors such as Fort Worth, Keller and North Richland Hills.
But the city, which got its name from a Cherokee phrase meaning village of many springs, is actually the hottest real estate market in the United States. At least, that’s the opinion of Realtor.com, a website that tracks prospective buyers’ interest in existing home sales around the country.
The report cites Watauga’s relative affordability, which helps sellers turn their properties quickly. Also, rankings are partially judged on how frequently listings are clicked on the Realtor.com online page.
“With a young population, a strong economy, and schools that have been rated among the best in the state, this near suburb of Fort Worth has what many buyers — especially those all-important Millennials — are looking for,” the report states.
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The report looked at rankings by ZIP code. Watauga’s ZIP Code (which includes parts of Haltom City and North Richland Hills) was No. 1, followed by Livonia, Mich., Kentwood, Mich., Medford, Mass. and Littleton, Colo.
Watauga was incorporated in 1958. Its largest employer, Target, has about 250 workers, according to city statistics.
With such a small population base and relatively limited economy, it might seem strange that Watauga would top such a seemingly prestigious national real estate list.
But Jacquelyn Reyff, Watauga’s director of planning and economic development, says what matters is that its homes that hit the market tend to get scooped up fast.
“A big part of it is being in Northeast Tarrant County, which is a very desirable area, and having two terrific school districts,” she said.
Most of the city lies within the Birdville school district, although a northern portion is in the Keller district.
The city hasn’t has any major new residential housing projects in about 12 years, she said. However, a new 55-home development known as Parkview, adjacent to Capp Smith Park near the intersection of Whitley Road and Starnes Road, is scheduled to be under construction soon.
The city has actually finished atop Realtor.com’s list two years straight, a bragging right that Reyff says city offficials will be sure to use when courting more retailers to move to the area.