What makes some Madison neighborhoods more popular than others? There are a number of contributing factors, but most of the neighborhoods on our "10 most popular list" are located near the city center on either the near west side or near east side of town. These parts of the city offer a rare combination of amenities that's hard to find in many other metropolitan areas.
The near east side and near west side offer Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, and Lake Wingra; parks and conservancy spaces; and bike paths that make it easy to travel about the city. Our top 10 neighborhoods are located near a number of excellent restaurants and shopping venues - as well as many of the area's largest employers. The state government, Madison's four hospitals, and the University of Wisconsin are all located near the city center. The center of the city is also home to the major sporting events, cultural activities, and other amenities that come with living in a big college town.
These are just a few of the things that most of the neighborhoods in our top 10 list have in common. Our top 10 neighborhoods also benefit from being located in "sellers markets" where the supply of homes is limited and the demand for real estate is strong. As our statistics show below, the properties in these locations tend to sell quickly and for prices close to the list. So, without further adieu, here's our list of Madison's most popular neighborhoods.
Our top ten neighborhood list begins with a surprise entry. Wexford Village is the one neighborhood on our list that's located away from the center of the city on the west side of town. As our statistics show, the properties here sell very quickly and for prices very close to the original list price. This prime west side location offers convenient access to local parks and ponds, as well as West Towne Mall and other shopping destinations. For more information on the neighborhood, check out the Wexford Village Homeowners Association website.
sales price as a percent of the original list: 100%
average days on market: 47 days
0.6 months of supply
The relatively unheralded Bay Creek/Lakeside area is located along the revitalized Park Street corridor between Wingra Creek and Monona Bay. This neighborhood offers the most centralized location of any neighborhood on our list. Downtown Madison, the UW Campus, and the Beltline are just a few minutes away by car. With a limited supply of homes, it's not uncommon for the houses here to sell for the full list price. For more information, visit the Bay Creek Neighborhood Association webpage.
The bohemian Marquette/Willy Street area is always in high demand. This neighborhood offers turn-of-the-century architecture, an extremely active neighborhood association, a superb Lake Monona location, and the incomparable Williamson Street. This near east side destination has a vibe like no other part of town. Spend a day wondering the establishments along Willy Street and you'll catch the vibe yourself.
sales price as a percent of the original list: 97.7%
average days on market: 35 days
months of supply: 2.4 months
For many buyers this neighborhood offers the perfect near west side location. Year in and year out this is one of the hottest real estate markets in Madison. A well-priced home in the Westmorland neighborhood can sell in a matter of days or even hours. This is another Madison neighborhood with a very active homeowners association. Check out their website here.
Although this neighborhood doesn't generate the same amount of buzz as some other near west side destinations, Midvale Heights is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Madison. Midvale Heights offers a lower price per square foot compared to many of the other neighborhoods in the area, but with all of the same location benefits. For more information, visit the neighborhood association website.
sales price as a percent of the original list: 96.4%
average days on market: 28 days
months of supply: 1.6 months
Situated around the Monroe Street corridor, the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood is a highly coveted near west side destination with an excellent collection of architecturally unique homes. This neighborhood offers great walkability to the stores, restaurants and pubs located along one-of-a-kind Monroe Street. Camp Randall and the University of Wisconsin Campus abut Dudgeon-Monroe on the east end of the neighborhood.
Schenk-Atwood is another popular near east side destination nestled between the Marquette/Willy Street and Eastmorland neighborhoods. Home to a very strong community association, this is a very pedestrian-friendly neighborhood that offers excellent access to the many local businesses located along Atwood Avenue.
sales price as a percent of the original list: 95.6%
average days on market: 43 days
months of supply: 0.9 months
Sunset Village is another popular near west side neighborhood to make our list. You can't beat the location. This neighborhood offers excellent access to Hilldale Mall, the University of Wisconsin Campus, and Downtown Madison. Public transportation is a cinch with bus routes that run along University Avenue, Mineral Point Rd, and Midvale Boulevard. The houses here are modest in size, but with a high price per square foot.
Eastmorland offers a prime near east side location near Lake Monona and Olbrich Gardens along the Atwood Avenue/Monona Drive corridor. The modestly-sized homes here offer great affordability, helping to make this one of the most highly sought after neighborhoods in town. Visit the Eastmorland Community Association webpage for more info on this popular near east side neighborhood.
sales price as a percent of the original list: 95.8%
average days on market: 38 days
1.8 months of supply
The ever-popular Hill Farms neighborhood is another perennially hot location where the properties are always in high demand. We've seen some listings in this neighborhood receive up to ten offers in a matter of a couple of days. If you like a classic ranch style home, this is a great location to target your search.
More about our Top Ten Madison Neighborhoods
We used objective statistics as a way to place and rank the neighborhoods in our top ten list. In order to qualify for our list, each neighborhood needed to have less than 3 months of inventory, an average days on market less than 60 days, and an average sales price at least 95% of the original list. All three of these thresholds represent performance that is much better than the MLS norm. We didn't use a strict formula to rank the 10 neighborhoods within our list, but those neighborhoods higher on the list tended to perform especially well across multiple measures.
It's important to note that the numbers will fluctuate throughout the year, so don't get too caught up in the individual rankings. Related to this, one or two outlier listings can have a big impact on a neighborhood's performance. For example, two listings that are overpriced by $75,000 can negatively impact a neighborhood's average sales price as a percent of the original list. Similarly, a listing that sits on the market for 365 days can negatively impact a neighborhood's average days on market.
There are other neighborhoods in Madison with market dynamics similar to those in our top ten list. If you're looking to buy a home anywhere in the downtown, near east side or near west side area here is the bottom line: You should expect a lot of competition from other buyers for a generally limited supply of homes. Hiring a good buyer agent is a great step to take if you want to buy the right property before it gets snatched up by someone else. One of the things a good buyer agent can do is help you find unlisted homes.
If you live in one of our top ten neighborhoods and you're planning to sell, your odds for a successful sale are very good. When you add in this year's hot spring market, it's very possible that you'll be able to sell your home in a matter of days and for the full list price.
More Madison Neighborhood Resources
The city of Madison does a lot to support the community at the neighborhood level. You'll find many online resources devoted to the dozens of associations located across the city. This map is a great resource for anyone who wants learn about the many different neighborhoods in Madison. Just pick your preferred side of town to begin learning about the different neighborhoods in each area.
Settling on a neighborhood is a personal decision. We don't endorse our top ten neighborhoods over any other neighborhoods in the area. Rather, we encourage you to think critically about what matters most to you. Then use the resources available to you to help you settle on the location of your next home. Give yourself some time learn all that you need to know, and you'll arrive at a great decision.
This article is published courtesy of: Dan Miller, REALTOR Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred