House hunters are looking for affordability and great year-round weather.
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Brilliant Fall colors reflect in the still waters of Lake Lure with the Blue Ridge Mountains forming a backdrop, North Carolina.
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For the past year, demand for second homes in states such as Florida and South Carolina has skyrocketed. And as travel restrictions ease, buyers are also looking for real estate beyond the country's borders (in Mexico, for example). However, because remote work has become the standard in certain industries, some people are packing up and leaving big cities for good in search of great weather, spacious homes, and lower taxes. So, if your 2022 plans include a new home, you may want to consider Florida.

According to a newly released report by real estate brokerage company Redfin, the Sunshine State is home to an overwhelming majority of the "hottest neighborhoods in 2022." Chatham, Massachusetts and North Carolina's Lake Lure are also on the list.

Summer cottages of varying sizes are closed and shuttered as they await the summer season and milder weather.
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The top spot goes to South Sarasota, Florida which lures home buyers with its white-sand beaches and affordable single-family homes. According to Redfin, the median sale price of houses in the area was $434,023 in 2021, which is 19 percent higher than the previous year. The Sarasota metro area is actually the big winner here, since it's home to seven of the eight Florida neighborhoods on the list.

Early morning exerciser is in motion on the island of Bird Key on Sarasota Bay with downtown Sarasota in the background.
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Of those Florida neighborhoods, East Venice and Englewood are second and third respectively, and Venice is fourth. While these are all areas with large numbers of retirement communities, Redfin points out that more and more young homebuyers are moving into the area after being priced out from other cities. More than two-thirds of home searches in the Sarasota area on Redfin came from a different metro area.

Nokomis and The Meadows, both in Florida, hold the fifth and sixth spots, respectively, with Chatham on Cape Cod, Massachusetts coming in seventh. And at the bottom of the list are Weston, Florida, North Carolina's Lake Lure, and downtown Fort Myers.

Redfin also points out that most of these areas face "substantial risk" from storms, flooding, and heat, all consequences of climate change. However, the company's research also shows that while most people consider these risks, factors such as affordability and proximity to family are bigger motivators for choosing a new home.