Woodstock came in No. 4 on the list compiled by financial data and advice website NerdWallet.com for its high rate of homeownership and competitive costs for those who own homes.
According to the website, Woodstock has a 71.5 percent rate of homeownership, with residents spending a monthly average of 27.4 percent of their income on homeowner costs.
The study also notes Woodstock’s “quaint downtown shopping area,” the historic Dixie Speedway and the proximity to Lake Allatoona and Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville, which are “big perks for outdoor enthusiasts.”
The city of Canton made it to the No. 16 spot on the website’s list, with a homeownership rate of 58.6 percent, and the city’s homeowners spending about 37.9 percent of their income on home costs.
For the study, NerdWallet examined 68 Georgia cities with more than 15,000 residents and focused on their rate of homeownership, median home value and population increase from 2010 to 2012. Census data and population estimates were used, the website said.
According to the study, Woodstock has a median home value of $188,200 and grew 8.3 percent in population between 2010 and 2012.
Woodstock Economic Development Director Brian Stockton attributed the city’s success to a number of factors, including the variety of types of homes available, the local school system and recreation options.
The city’s booming commercial developments don’t hurt either, he said.
“People want to live where you can eat, shop,” Stockton said. “It’s not like you’re driving a long way to get to places (here).”
For Lisa Morton, lead listing specialist for Keller Williams real estate team the Premier Group, it’s clear that people flock to Woodstock more than other nearby areas.
One of the driving factors for that seems to be downtown, where Morton’s company chose to locate because of the “vibrancy” there. Morton said Woodstock’s center has been seeing success for years, even during the Great Recession, when other downtowns in north Georgia were struggling.
The Towne Lake area is also a “very desirable place to live for all kinds of reasons, the amenities that are there,” she added.
Morton said part of Woodstock’s success for homeownership could also be driven by the city’s collaborative work with private businesses that come into the city and spur growth.
“I don’t see that these results are being replicated (elsewhere),” she said.