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The hottest places to live in Greater Boston

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 15, 2013 09:35 AM

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Now the envelope please. The three hottest locales in Greater Boston are ... Somerville, Medford and Waltham!

Seriously though, Redfin this morning rolled out its list of the "hottest emerging neighborhoods and small cities" for 16 major metro areas across the country.

And Somerville, Medford and Waltham topped the list, based on everything from sales volume value to sale-to-list price ratios. (The write-up on Somerville also notes its "laidback, hipster" feel, essential qualities to making any list of hot towns.)

Anyway, it all makes sense to me, simply because these are communities all benefiting from a Cambridge bursting at the seams with all that biotech and university cash chasing homes and condos.

And Somerville (Davis Square), Medford and Waltham are all benefiting from the spillover.

The median home price in Cambridge is $807,000, up 8.1 percent for the year ending in November. By comparison, Somerville weighs in at $435,000, Waltham $378,700 and Medford, $350,000, real estate publisher and data firm The Warren Group reports.

Redfin cites big, year-over-year increases in sales volume in all three communities, with equally sizable drops in the number of homes on the market.

Somerville, saw sales surge 92 percent while inventory plunged 43 percent, while Medford saw sales rise 30 percent while homes on the market fell by 43 percent. In Waltham, sales rose 18.8 percent, even as inventory declined by more than 21 percent.

Here are the Redfin write-ups on these three Cambridge satellites.

Boston #1: Somerville
"Somerville has a laidback, hipster feel with a lot of great diversity. The main attraction is the green line extension and the new T line, which broke ground in July and is a huge development for this neighborhood. There have been many improvements in public spaces as well as small-business growth." -Redfin Agent Matt Zborezny

Boston #2: Medford
"Medford is a highly desirable neighborhood for those who really want an affordable, single-family home with an easy commute to Boston. There's a bit more space here, a bit more land around the properties. It's a very suburban atmosphere, with great parks and wide sidewalks, yet still very close to the city." -Redfin Agent Matt Zborezny

Boston #3: Waltham
"An affordable neighborhood for first-time homebuyers, Waltham is a nice alternative to Lexington or Arlington, which are close by but out of reach price-wise. Access to Boston is easy with close public transportation. The homes are predominantly ranch-style built in the 1960s and 70s. There are a lot of great restaurants now as well." -Redfin Agent Sandy Rosen

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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