Linden Hills is one of only 11 Twin Cities markets where price gains have exceeded the previous peak, and all have had few foreclosures, little developable land, desirable schools and are highly walkable. Linden Hills has the benefit of being snuggled among the city's popular Chain of Lakes.

When Joanne Mallon and her husband listed their charming Mediterranean-style house near the popular 50th and France shopping district, they had 40 showings and seven offers in two days, including five that were above the asking price. They sold the house for $52,000 more than they paid and for $25,000 more than their asking price. "It was unbelievable," she said. "It was just crazy."

This neighborhood is so popular that it's become the epicenter for the teardown craze that's sweeping some parts of the Twin Cities. "This has been a real winner," said Jim Grandbois, a sales agent for Sotheby's Lakes and a longtime resident of Linden Hills. "Prices have gone out of sight."

Because no land is available, a growing number of buyers are buying $300,000 to $400,000 houses and demolishing them to build new ones for upwards of $1 million. While those deals are skewing the median, they demonstrate how eager people are to live in that neighborhood.