Real Estate News

This Mass. city was named the No. 4 ‘Hottest’ ZIP code in America

Three other New England cities also made the list. See why home buyers are attracted to these communities. cited Melrose's school system, greenspace, and access to transportation for its high ranking on the list. (Johnathan Wiggs / Globe Staff)

Though it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as “90210,” the 02176 is one of “hottest” places to be in America, according to

Welcome to Melrose.

On Tuesday, named it the No. 4 hottest ZIP code in the country.

Three other New England communities made the list: Worcester; South Portland, Maine; and Hudson, N.H. In fact, half of this year’s picks were in the Northeast.

Just 10 miles north of Boston, Melrose, which ranked No. 7 last year, earned its accolades by having a desirable school system, easy access to public transportation, and paddle boarding and boating on Spot Pond, according to the news release. The city shares Middlesex Fells Reservation, home to popular hiking trails, with four other communities.

In this file photo, Matthew R. Burne with the Vernal Pool Association checked his net for evidence that the pond in Middlesex Fells Reservation is a vernal pool. – (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff)

Homes in Melrose sell in 19 days on average, 26 days faster than the Boston metropolitan area and 50 days faster than the national median. The median listing price is $644,000, 2 percent higher than the metro area and 95 percent higher than the national median. Sixty-three percent of residents in this ZIP code are homeowners, and millennial homeownership is 46 percent.


“Demand for these markets was driven by a lack of affordability in nearby larger urban cores such as New York and Boston, where prices have skyrocketed and increased space is a luxury many can’t afford,” according to the news release. analyzed 20,000 ZIP codes based on the time it takes properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each ZIP code from April-June 20. Eligible ZIP codes had at least 13 active listings each month to calculate a ranking. This was limited to one ZIP code per metropolitan area.

Farther north, South Portland, Maine (04106), ranked  No. 5 on the list. cited the town’s beautiful beaches, miles of rocky coastline, short drive to Portland Head Light, and walkability.  “South Portland is a slightly more affordable option compared to the city of Portland, while still being close to downtown and its world-class restaurants,” according to the report. “The community attracts a lot of families and people looking to escape bigger cities like Boston and New York. “

Homes in South Portland spend an average of 21 days on the market, seven days more than last year, but 38 days less than the Portland metro overall. The median list price is $377,000, up 4.2 percent year over year. Asking prices are 9 percent lower than the metro overall, but 14 percent higher than the US median. Fifty seven percent of residents in this ZIP are homeowners, and the millennial homeownership rate is 36 percent.

The rocky coast in South Portland, Maine, attracts visitors. Portland Head Light is visible in the background. – (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

In Melrose’s old spot, No. 7,  is Hudson, N.H. (03051). Along the Merrimack River in “tax free New Hampshire,” Hudson offers access to freeways that lead to the Lakes Region, White Mountains, or the Seacoast, the list said.


Homes here sell in 22 days on average, 46 days faster than the national median. The median listing price is $350,000. Seventy-eight percent of residents in this ZIP are homeowners, and millennial homeownership is 33 percent.

The last New England community to make the list was Worcester, at No. 8.

Downtown Worcester. – (David L Ryan/Globe Staff )

Worcester (01602) is known for its historic homes and colleges. said it is a “hotspot for families and retirees looking for three- or four-bedroom homes, but increasing home prices have pushed it out of reach for many first-time home buyers.”

Homes in Worcester spend 21 days on market on average, 31 days fewer than the metro as a whole and 48 days fewer than the national median. The median listing price is $318,000, 14 percent lower than metro as a whole and 4 percent lower than the national median. Sixty-three percent of residents in this ZIP are homeowners, and millennial homeownership is 50 percent.

The report suggested that millennials are continuing to migrate away from the nation’s urban centers in search of affordable housing and space to raise a family.

“This year’s hottest ZIP codes lean noticeably toward the East Coast. Nothing west of the Rocky Mountains made the list,” according to Danielle Hale, chief economist. “But when you view the list through the lens of affordability, the picture becomes more clear. As the largest generation in US history continues to advance toward life milestones — settling down, marriage, parenthood — the need for space and affordable housing outshines the bright lights in expensive urban areas like New York or Los Angeles. While we’ve seen millennials moving in this direction for a few years now, all the extra time at home spent trying to work, learn, and play in response to the pandemic has heightened these preferences and put the trend toward extra space and affordability on fast-forward.”


The full list:

  1. (80911) Colorado Springs, Colo.
  2. (43068) Reynoldsburg, Ohio
  3. (14617) Rochester, N.Y.
  4. (02176) Melrose
  5. (04106) South Portland, Maine
  6. (66614) Topeka
  7. (03051) Hudson, N.H.
  8. (01602) Worcester
  9. (22152) Springfield, Va.
  10. (27604) Raleigh, N.C.

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