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Where Melrose has Brookline beat

Buying News Arlington Boston Brookline Melrose Wakefield Winchester
Melrose is known as a small suburb with a picturesque downtown.
Melrose is known as a small suburb with a picturesque downtown. The Boston Globe

Brookline may be the best suburb in America to live in, but when it comes to people clamoring to move into town, Melrose has its more famous cousin beat.

Melrose, a small suburb with a picturesque downtown, was ranked the hottest zip code in the U.S., according to a report released Thursday by real estate website realtor.com.

The website annually ranks the nation’s top 10 zip codes, according to how fast the area’s houses sell and how often listings are viewed on realtor.com. The service also ranks the communities based on housing demand, local economy, strong school and public transportation systems, and proximity to shopping and restaurants.

Many are surprised (and a bit incredulous) of the findings. Arlington’s town manager Adam Chapdelaine, for example, told The Boston Globe that Arlington’s restaurant scene “blows away’’ Melrose’s, adding, “There’s no way that Melrose is more attractive than Arlington.’’ Some even described Melrose as a “stepping-stone’’ to more affluent neighborhoods like Wakefield or Winchester.

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Safest towns in Massachusetts:

Still, it’s undeniable that people want to live in the leafy suburb of 27,690.

All of realtor.com’s top-ranked zip codes see homes selling four to nine times faster than the national average. Melrose properties are on the market for a median of just 24 day — 25 days less than Boston. The average home price in Melrose is $444,800, slightly cheaper than Boston’s average home price of $449,500, according to Zillow.

“Each locale on this list is emblematic of the key trends driving housing this year – healthy local economics, job opportunities and affordability,’’ said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “For first-time home buyers, these communities provide great opportunities to enter the housing market, build a career, and raise a family; older generations are able to build wealth and enjoy a variety of lifestyles.’’

Melrose might not have a huge nightlife scene, but it’s certainly known for its quaint downtown, strong sense of community, and successful millennial population. (The median income for households between the ages 25 and 34 years old is $88,000, 67 percent higher than that of the average millennial household in the U.S.)

Melrose’s Main Street —The Boston Globe

The runners up? Worthington, Ohio, and Centennial, Colorado.