Tinsel Towns Year Round: Holiday Named Cities in the U.S.

by Nicole SelvaggiDecember 18, 2012

Homes.com unwraps three holiday named cities, where even the real estate market may be worth rejoicing this time of year. Are the winter months sparking an interest in ho-ho-home buyers toward cities with holiday names? What would it be like to experience the joy of the season 365 days a year? We discovered three holiday-named cities that not only represent the season year round, but also have shown a cheery growth in home searches in the past winter months, despite seasonal down trends in the real estate market. As we mentioned in our Home for the Holidays Part 1 report, this time of year is generally an off-season for the real estate industry; however, some experts maintain that “there are good reasons to buy a home toward the end of the year.” 2011 Search Increases_Holiday Cities Residents in these cities can expect the magic of the season 365 days a year. What would it be like to live in these ‘tinsel towns’? Does the spirit of the holiday season help kindle the interest in buying a ho-ho-home there?

Christmas at Historic Courthouse, TexasChristmas at Historic Courthouse, Texas

Garland, TX, a large city located northeast of Dallas, was actually named after the U.S. Attorney General Augustus Hill Garland yet the city’s name also represents one of the most fundamental holiday decorations. Situated in a state with one of the highest employment increases and a notably recovering real estate market, Garland’s own housing market could be following suit. This city was ranked #67 on CNN and Money magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Places to Live” in 2008. Additionally, Garland appears to become popular during the winter months – the city showed a monthly increase in home searches by 9% last December. The combination of an improving job market and low real estate prices could potentially be fueling this growth. The current median price found on Homes.com is a very affordable $129,900. Although this city is not as holiday-themed year round as the others in this list, residents here celebrate the season accordingly with the annual Christmas on the Square festival, complete with a tree lighting ceremony and other family friendly activities.

Town Hall Santa Claus, IN; Source: Wikipedia
Santa Claus, IN, a small town originally established in 1854, developed the festive name after being denied a post office under its former name – Santa Fe. Home to numerous holiday-themed attractions, including Santa’s Candy Castle, Frosty’s Fun Center, and Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, this city is reported to have “grown substantially since the 1990 census.” In addition to the population growth, this city considerably grew in home searches last winter, increasing by 30% in December alone. Could the magic of the holidays be affecting the increase in residents and home searches found in this city? Santa Claus currently has relatively low real estate prices, with a reported median of $164,950, so home buyers can also expect affordable housing to go along with the year round holiday-themed fun. In fact, according to Wikipedia, a majority of residents here live in festive neighborhoods, like Holiday Village and Christmas Lake Village, with street names all named after the Christmas season.

Welcome Sign North Pole, AK; Source: Wikipedia, 2005 Derek Ramseysource

Like the city of Santa Claus, North Pole, AK features Christmas-themed streets, including Snowman Lane and Kris Kringle Drive. To take the festivities up a notch, North Pole keeps these streets decorated year round with candy cane street lights. This small town has become a must visit for the holiday season, causing the city to develop more and more holiday-themed attractions. It’s no surprise that the post office in this city collects “hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa Claus” each year before Christmas. On top of the increase in mail this time of year, North Pole seems to also be gaining rising attention from potential home buyers. This city significantly grew in home searches for the month last December and increased by a whopping 83.5%. This increase is much higher than our previous cities combined, despite having a higher median list price of $229,900. It’s apparent the holiday season brings more than mail and visitors to this city.

The winter holidays are known as the peak retail shopping season; yet, is it now also becoming popular among real estate shoppers? Could these holiday-themed names have anything to do with it? These cities are located in vastly different locations yet all see an increase in home searches during the winter, which is typically an off-season in real estate. There are many reasons to consider buying a home during the holiday season, which include low mortgage rates and less competition. Are you thinking about buying a home, especially one in these festive cities? Start your holiday home shopping now with Homes.com!
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Nicole Selvaggi

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