Jaclyn Reiss for Boston.com
Waltham was ranked by national real estate company Redfin as one of the top three "hottest" Boston neighborhoods to buy a home in the New Year, following Somerville at number one and Medford at number two.
The company ranked each neighborhood based on up-and-coming status as defined by its local real estate agents, and paired that with data trending in on-market listings, sales volume, median price per square foot, and sale-to-listing ratio.
The neighborhoods chosen see shrinking selection, as well as an uptick in both prices and sales, according to the company.
So, what exactly makes Waltham so hot?
"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," said Redfin agent Sandy Rosen in the company's list. "Access to Boston is easy with close public transportation... There are a lot of great restaurants now as well."
Waltham ranked closely behind two other nearby cities. Local agents cited Somerville as the number one hottest neighborhood because of its diversity and a "laidback, hipster" feel. Agents also said Somerville public transportation developments being planned, and noted an effort to improve public spaces and small business growth.
Medford came in at number two because it features affordable, single-family homes with space and easy access to Boston. The city also offers a more suburban atmosphere, with yards, parks and wide sidewalks, according to Redfin agents.
In 2010, CNNMoney Magazine ranked Waltham number 28 in its "Best Places to Live" list. The magazine cited the city's rich history, proximity to Brandeis and Bentley universities, and growth of medical and technology companies as neighborhood attractions.
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