| Nov 1, 2016

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Most home buyers dream of settling down in a great city or town, but a growing number of house hunters are setting their sights smaller. They are narrowing down their searches, in fact, not just to a neighborhood, but to a microneighborhood—a specific patch of properties located all on one strip, or even one block, with its own distinct identity and real estate cachet.

According to Realtors®, microneighborhoods are getting more attention than ever. Lists of the country’s “coolest microneighborhoods” have been rolled out in a variety of media outlets, highlighting the charms of Los Angeles’ Fairfax Avenue, Chicago’s East Fulton Market, Miami’s NW 2nd Avenue, and others. Meanwhile, New York is a microneighborhood microcosm, with New York magazine claiming: “Examine almost any area of Manhattan these days and you’ll find it balkanized into a set of breakaway microneighborhoods, each one proclaiming its unique character.”

And while there have always been blocks that are cooler than others, the preferences of a new generation of house hunters is giving them extra cachet.