Palm Beach County’s hottest neighborhoods? They’re not where you expect

A property for sale in West Palm Beach's Parker Ridge neighborhood.

A property for sale in West Palm Beach’s Parker Ridge neighborhood. Photo by Jeff Ostrowski/The Palm Beach Post.

Pop quiz: Which Palm Beach County neighborhood can expect the heftiest price appreciation this year?

You’re probably thinking of an obvious choice — the oceanfront estates of Palm Beach, perhaps, or a quaint historic section of Delray Beach, or maybe a ritzy gated community in Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington or Boca Raton.

Wrong on all counts. According to Zillow, the fastest-gaining neighborhoods this year will be low-priced areas mostly passed over by the housing rebound.

In Zillow’s forecast for South Florida’s hottest neighborhoods of 2016, four of the top five are in Palm Beach County:

  • Villages of Oriole, the 55-and-older community at the northwest corner of Atlantic Avenue and Jog Road west of Delray Beach. Zillow forecasts 3.5 percent growth. The neighborhood is dominated by homes priced at less than $100,000.
  • Parker Ridge, the area just east of Interstate 95 and north of Forest Hill Boulevard in West Palm Beach: Zillow projects 2.6 percent growth.
  • Palm Beach Lakes, the area just west of I-95 between Okeechobee and Palm Beach Lakes boulevards in West Palm Beach: 2.2 percent appreciation.
  • Roosevelt Estates, a neighborhood east of I-95 and south of Palm Beach Lakes in West Palm Beach. Zillow projects 1.7 percent growth.

“In some of the more obvious markets that have been hot in the past, home values has risen pretty far, and demand for housing has diminished to some extent because they’ve gotten so expensive,” says Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist. “People are looking for more affordable housing, so we expect demand to increase for these kinds of neighborhoods.”

Zillow expects South Florida home prices to fall 0.4 percent this year, so cracking the top five required only a modest projected gain.

“It’s nothing to write home about,” Gudell says.

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