These metro area’s cities and towns experienced the biggest percentage jump in single-family sale prices between the dawn of the turnaround in 2010 and the end of 2015, the most recent year with complete sales information available from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
With each of the 10 winners is included a alternate place with similar vibes but lower median prices. Happy hunting!
- Median single-family price $725,000
- Change since 2010 + 80%
- Median condo price $561,00
- Change since 2010 + 56%
It’s been years since Somerville, once considered a place to avoid, started turning the corner to become the vibrant, increasingly pricey community it is today. Neighborhoods from Davis Square to Union Square have transformed both organically and, like Assembly Square, by design.
If you like Somerville, try . . . Medford
- Median single-family price $820,000
- Change since 2010 +59%
- Median condo price $450,000
- Change since 2010 + 39%
Long known for its funky, artsy feel, Jamaica Plain has seen a precipitous rise in baby carriages in the past few years. There are a lot more activities geared toward families with young children. Among the draws: JP encompasses more green space than any other neighborhood in Boston; it has great public transportation; shops and restaurants abound; and a prevailing sense of community.
If you like Jamaica Plain, try . . . Roxbury
- Median single-family price $1,343,500
- Change since 2010 +56%
- Median condo price $625,000
- Change since 2010 +47%
With its great walkability, easy public transportation, eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, and the strong sense of identity imparted by Harvard University and MIT it’s easy to see why Cambridge earned a spot on the list . There’s a European quality of life in Cambridge, it has aspects of true big-city living and aspects of easier suburban living all rolled into one.
If you like Cambridge, try . . . Medford
- Median single-family price $1,117,600
- Change since 2010 +50%
- Median condo price $620,000
- Change since 2010 +54%
With excellent schools, proximity to several major highways, and a median household income that’s more than double that of the United States overall, Newton has always been a desirable location — if you can afford it!
If you like Newton, try . . . Waltham
- Median single-family price $330,000
- Change since 2010 +42%
- Median condo price $289,000
- Change since 2010 +70%
Like the Somerville of 20 years ago, Revere suffers a perception problem. But with a revamped downtown and ongoing development along its roughly 3.5-mile-long beach, bidding wars are not unusual. Three subway stops, 4 miles to Boston, a straight shot to the North Shore, and an increasing abundance of kids programs. Five new schools in the past 12 years and educational initiatives are earning Revere national attention!
If you like Revere, try . . . Everett and Lynn
- Median single-family price $1,625,000
- Change since 2010 +40%
- Median condo price $700,000
- Change since 2010 +50%
Top-notch schools and high median prices tend to coincide. So it is in Brookline. Niche Rankings, a website that grades K-12 schools not only by test scores but also by student and parent surveys, puts it second in Massachusetts, with an A+ for nearly everything, from academics to sports and most extracurriculars. However, much of the town’s housing stock is condos and apartments, so a low inventory of single-families has kept prices the highest in the state.
If you like Brookline, try . . . Brighton
- Median single-family price $505,000
- Change since 2010 +40%
- Median condo price $282,500
- Change since 2010 +15%
Midway between Boston and Providence, Walpole provides the best of both worlds in other ways, too. It’s quintessentially New England, very quaint, but it’s also close to I-95 and 495 and has a commuter rail. Because it’s near Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place in Foxborough — and has its own bustling little downtown — Walpole offers big-city conveniences while giving you that country feel. The town is sports-crazy, has good schools, and offers much community spirit!
If you like Walpole, try . . . Foxborough
- Median single-family price $555,000
- Change since 2010 +39%
- Median condo price $342,500
- Change since 2010 -7%
Natick has an amazing small-town feel, particularly as you get farther from the Mass. Pike. With a cute, red-brick-heavy Main Street, a common with a farmers’ market and other events, the Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Center for Arts in Natick, you’ll never lack for things to do!
If you like Natick, try . . . Holliston
- Median single-family price $319,000
- Change since 2010 +38%
- Median condo price $253,000
- Change since 2010 +33%
Everett is poised for a comeback. Former industrial areas are getting cleaned up, with a spate of breweries and distillers drawing young professionals to Norman Street and its environs, a 7-mile bike path cutting through town along an old rail line, and a proposed cleanup of the Malden River for boaters and swimmers. Many of Everett’s single-family homes need updating, but that helps keep prices affordable.
If you like Everett, try . . . Lynn
- Median single-family price $960,000
- Change since 2010 +37%
- Median condo price $588,250
- Change since 2010 +65%
With its deep sense of history, understated elegance, and established community of artists and intellectuals, Concord is A-list among the Greater Boston towns. Its two retail hubs offer something for everyone, from the high-end retail and restaurants to yoga-and-health-food vibes. If you happen to be looking in the $2 million range, you’ll find inventory relatively high at the moment.
If you like Concord, try . . . Carlisle