We recently posted about 10 of the hottest neighborhoods in the city of Madison. That article was well-received, so we decided to build upon this topic by taking a look at the hottest neighborhoods in suburban Madison. For our suburban review we analyzed neighborhoods in the communities of Fitchburg, Middleton, Monona, Sun Prairie, Verona, and Waunakee.
We identified 13 hot suburban markets in all. All of these markets met our criteria for low months of inventory, low days on market, and high selling prices relative to the original list. We used statistics from the South Central Wisconsin MLS to determine each neighborhood's inclusion in our list. The specific criteria are laid out in more detail toward the bottom of this article.
The results of our study were both surprising and not so surprising. Sun Prairie, which has traditionally been a weaker market, had 4 neighborhoods make our list. The only city to have more entries was traditionally strong Middleton, which had a total of 5. Waunakee, which has grown tremendously over the years, did not have any neighborhoods make our list. Every other community in our survey had at least one entry on our list. Below is our list of 13 hot suburban neighborhoods, beginning with the city of Fitchburg.
Wildwood is located along Fitchburg's Lacy Road corridor between Fish Hatchery Rd and Seminole Highway. It isn't the flashiest or trendiest of neighborhoods, but it's a very popular choice for buyers seeking a good value. In Wildwood you can buy a spacious 3 or 4 bedroom home for around $250,000. As of this post, an amazing 9 of 13 listings in the neighborhood have an accepted offer (69%). If you're hoping to buy a home in Wildwood or any other popular neighborhood, we highly recommend you hire a good buyer agent. A good buyer agent will help you focus your search on the properties that are still available for sale.
If you're someone looking for a house with a little character, you'll find it Downtown Middleton. Residents here enjoy convenient access to the downtown business district, where a nice variety of locally owned restaurants, pubs and shops are only a short stroll from home. Act fast if you plan to buy here. The homes in this part of Middleton sell very quickly and for prices very close to the list.
When a Foxridge listing hits the market, it goes quickly. As of this post there are 5 Foxridge homes for sale and all of them have accepted offers. Most of the homes in this part of Middleton are 20 to 40 years old. This well-established neighborhood benefits from a great location near Tiedeman's Pond and Stricker's Pond just south of Downtown Middleton. Nearby the Beltline, Gammon Rd, and University Ave offer excellent access to the greater Madison area.
These twin neighborhoods are located near the Graber Pond Conservancy on the north side of town where property has been moving very quickly. A total of 33 listings have sold in the last year, with most of the sales being for new construction homes and buildable lots. Right now there are only 1.5 months of supply on the market. Note: we've omitted the days on market and sales price as a percentage of the list because this data is skewed for new construction real estate.
The Northlake neighborhood features a coveted location along the eastern edge of the Pheasant Branch Creek Conservancy a few minutes north of Lake Mendota. Most of the houses here sell for well above $400,000. This neighborhood's market statistics are truly impressive for the price point. On average the houses here sell in just 22 days and for greater than 98% of the original list price. These market stats speak volumes for the desirability of the conservancy setting. If you're seeking a move-up home with a strong resale upside, the Northlake neighborhood is a great place to be.
The real estate near Downtown Middleton tends to sell very quickly and in Parklawn there is no exception to this rule. Located just north of University Avenue, Park Lawn offers a more accessible price point compared to nearby Foxridge and Downtown Middleton. In this neighborhood you can buy a solid mid-century home for around $200,000 to $250,000. From Parklawn you can also walk to Firemen's Park, Parisi Park, Middleton High School and the Middleton Pool.
Located along the eastern shores of Lake Monona, life in the Frost Woods neighborhood is heavily influenced by the lake. This neighborhood has its own beach, its own park, and a great collection of mid-century, ranch-style homes. Frost Woods also has an incredibly active homeowner's association, and the residents here are very loyal to their community. The inventory of homes for sale in this neighborhood is typically very low. In the last year only 8 listings sold via the MLS. New listings don't hit the market all that often here, but when the do, they sell quickly.
The Hickory Grove Estates neighborhood first arrived on the scene in the 1990s. Like many of the entries in our "most popular" list, this subdivision is home to its own elementary school. Bird Elementary is located along the eastern edge of the neighborhood. Hickory Grove offers good access to both Liberty Community Park and Vandenburg Heights Park.
The properties in Meadow Crossing are moving quickly. Thirty listings have sold in the last year alone. In this neighborhood you can buy a new construction Veridian built home for $250,000 to $300,000. Like other popular neighborhoods in our list, Meadow Crossing offers great access to green space and local schools. From Meadow Crossing residents can walk to Sun Prairie High School and 4 local parks. Note: we've omitted the days on market and sales price as a percentage of the list because this data is skewed for new construction real estate.
Prairie Enterprises offers great affordability near the public library, 4 community parks, and the Main Street business district. In fact, Prairie Enterprises is the only neighborhood on our list with an average price point under $200,000. Another key benefit is this neighborhood's close proximity to Highway 151 and the interstate. If you're in need of a commuter-friendly location, Prairie Enterprises is worth a look.
Located on Sun Prairie's west side, Wyndham Hills is home to Horizon Elementary, Windy Ridge Park and Wyndham Hills Community Park. Most of the homes in the area were built around the year 2000. Here you'll find many homes with popular ranch style designs that tend to sell very quickly.
This popular neighborhood on the southeast side of town features newer construction real estate built after the year 2000. One strong selling point is the proximity of the local grade school. Glacier Edge Elementary is located within the boundaries of the neighborhood. Hawthorne Hills also offers great access to Hwy 18/151 and is just a few minutes away from the Beltline and greater Madison.
Located just to the north of Hawthorne Hills, these twin neighborhoods offer one of the more accessible price points in the city of Verona. Most of the homes in the area were built around the year 2000. Go for a walk through these neighborhoods and you'll catch the friendly vibe this part of Verona is known for. You'll also encounter a nice variety of unpretentious three and four-bedroom homes. These homes don't have all of the latest finishes and features, but they offer a good value in a location many are happy to call home.
What makes some neighborhoods hot, and others not?
We used statistics from the South Central Wisconsin MLS to determine each neighborhood's eligibility for our list. In order to qualify for our list, each neighborhood needed to pass each of these tests:
current inventory levels at less than 3 months of supply
an average days on market of less than 60 days
an average sales price at least 95% of the original list
We made exceptions for Middleton Ridge/Misty Valley and Meadow Crossing because these neighborhoods consist primarily of new construction properties, which have a tendency to skew some of the statistics. Nonetheless both of these areas represent hot markets where the properties are moving very quickly.
There are other factors at play which appear to increase a neighborhood's likelihood of making our list. All of the neighborhoods in our list share at least one of these 5 important traits:
Affordability. Three of the four Sun Prairie neighborhoods to make our list have an average sales price under $250,000. One Sun Prairie neighborhood has an average price under $200,000.
Proximity to conservancy or natural space. Frost Woods, Foxridge, Middleton Ridge/Misty Valley and Northlake all feature excellent access to a nearby conservancy, lake or pond.
Proximity to schools. Many of the entries in our list have at least one public school located within or very near neighborhood boundaries.
Proximity to local shops and restaurants. Three of the five Middleton neighborhoods to make our list all offer convenient access to popular Downtown Middleton.
"Commutability". Many of the neighborhoods in our list are located near at least one major thoroughfare which makes for a straightforward commute to and from the city of Madison.
More Community Resources
You can learn a lot more about our surveyed communities by checking out these municipal websites:
We'll conduct our survey again next year and add to it by including the villages of Cottage Grove and Oregon. In the meantime, if you should have any questions about the market statistics for your neighborhood, feel free to get in touch with us, and we'll be happy to assist.
This article is published courtesy of: Dan Miller, REALTOR Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred