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Report: Two Mass. ZIP codes rank in the top 10 housing markets in the U.S.

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The city of Peabody ranked No. 3 on the list. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff/file 2017

Massachusetts sure feels like one of the hottest places to live this week, and according to Realtor.com, it’s about more than just the weather. 

Two Massachusetts communities made the top 10 “hottest ZIP codes” on Realtor.com’s annual ranking, which contends that homes in all of the communities on the list flew off the market three times faster than last year. (Note: The “market hotness” rankings are based on Realtor.com listing data from January to June 2021, and the list of the top communities is limited to one ZIP code per metropolitan area.)

Peabody’s 01960 came in at No. 3, and Milford’s 01757 was ranked No. 7. 

Sitting 20 miles north of Boston, Peabody snagged the third spot because of its convenience and affordability, according to a news release from Realtor.com, which touted the city’s proximity to Interstate 95 for commuting to Boston, its tax rate, its “abundance of single-level, ranch-style houses,” and its affordability.

Realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale, also noted the community’s appeal to retirees and downsizers. “Just north of Boston, the town [sic] offers shorter commute times and easy access to all New England has to offer,” she said in a video. “It’s relative affordability and abundance of single-level homes has also made it an attractive destination for retirees and those looking to downsize without losing access to city amenities.”

If you’re looking for a place in Peabody, you’ll need to act fast, according to the report. Homes here sell in three days on average, significantly faster than in the Boston metro area (19 days) and nationally (34 days). The $625,000 median listing price is 11 percent lower than metro Boston’s median but 62 percent higher than the national median.  The report said 63 percent of residents in this ZIP are homeowners, and while millennial homeownership here is above the US average, just 10 percent of households are in the age 25-34 bracket. Peabody’s overall population is roughly 53,000, according to US Census Bureau estimates from 2019.

The community ranked No. 5 on the list in 2018 and No. 4 in 2020.

The town of Milford, located in southeastern Worcester County, is 40 miles from Boston, but its proximity to the Mass. Pike makes the drive to the city only about an hour in non-peak traffic times. But the rise of remote work is also making longer commutes less of a consideration for home buyers, and with a median listing price of $455,000, Milford offers a bigger bang for the buck than neighborhoods closer to Boston, the report said. The median list price is 6 percent lower than in metro Boston and 18 percent higher than the national median, and properties here sell after six days on average. The report also noted that 62 percent of residents in this ZIP code are homeowners, and 44 percent of those homeowners are millennials.

Milford’s overall population is roughly 25,000, according to the US Census Bureau tally from 2010, the latest year that information is available.

“The rise in remote work has made this ZIP an attractive option for young professionals who don’t need to commute into Boston every day but enjoy the proximity to small and big amenities alike,” Hale said. “Buyers will find their city-level salaries can purchase a lot more house in Milford.”

The town’s numerous hiking and biking trails and breweries are also attractive to younger buyers, according to the news release. The community ranked No. 8 on the list in 2020.

Two other New England ZIP codes made the top 10: Manchester, N.H., (03103) and Concord, N.H, (03301) came in at No. 4 and No. 8, respectively. Colorado Springs, Colo., (80916) nabbed the top spot. 

Here are the other New England ZIP codes that made the top 50:

15. Windham, Maine (04062)

17. Mansfield (02048)

24. Chicopee (01020)

31. Rindge, N.H. (03461)

Being home to four of the hottest ZIP codes may not come as a surprise to Bay Staters. Earlier this year, Massachusetts was also ranked the second-best state in America to live in. Boston.com readers were skeptical, however, and it seems they may have been onto something. … Boston ranked high for rodent infestations just weeks later.

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