As we saw in our Midyear Housing Report, home prices continue to rise across Massachusetts. The average selling price for a home hit $387,818 in June, an increase of 6% compared to June of 2013, and the highest monthly average selling price this year.
Weston tops our list with the average selling price of a home at $1,629,669. A total of 69 homes sold in Weston in the first six months of this year. Located in Middlesex County, Weston has the highest per capita income in the state, at $211,789. Weston is known for its high quality of life. It has excellent schools with small class sizes and is committed to preserving its open space and maintaining sustainable land development. Weston is just 15 miles west of Boston and has access to routes 20 and 95. Weston also has 3 convenient stops on the MBTA commuter rail to Boston, making it an ideal location. Weston schools ranked #11 in Boston Magazine’s Best Schools in Boston. The population of Weston is 11,261 and the property tax rate is $12.73.
Nantucket comes in second on our list with the average selling price for a home at $1,415,505. Although the average home price is high, the tax rate in Nantucket is one of lowest in the state, at $3.76. Home sales are strong in Nantucket with 91 homes sold in the first six months of 2014. Nantucket also made our 25 Hottest Towns list in the first quarter of this year. Nantucket is a town and a county as well as an island. Nantucket is a popular tourist destination where visitors can explore miles of beaches, wildlife reserves, museums, historic homes, shopping, and restaurants. The population of Nantucket is 10,172, an increase of 7% since 2000.
Wellesley is third on our list of most expensive towns. The average price for a home in Wellesley is $1,234,786. 174 homes sold for the first half of the year. The Wellesley school system in considered one of the best in the state. Wellesley High School is ranked 4th within Massachusetts according to US News and World Report and came in 10th on the 2013 Boston Best Schools report. Wellesley is also home to Wellesley College, a top rated private college which is closely engaged with the community. Wellesley has access to route 9 and also has 3 stops on the MBTA commuter rail to Boston. The population of Wellesley is 27,982, an increase of 5% since 2000. The residential tax rate in Wellesley is $11.54.
The largest city in Massachusetts also had the most sales of any town on our list: 876 in the first six months of 2014. The average selling price for a home in Boston is $1,110,721. We recently appeared on Channel 7’s Urban Update to discuss some of the reasons why the Boston Housing Market is doing so well. Boston boasts world class museums, parks, cultural attractions, nightlife, and championship-winning sports teams. According to Walk Score, Boston is one of the most walkable cities in the country. It’s also one of the most bike friendly cities, especially since the recent addition of designated bike lanes and Hubway, a bike-sharing program launched in 2011. Boston has an extensive public transportation system with buses, commuter rail, subway, and commuter ferry service. Boston Latin School was ranked #1 High School by US News and World Report. The population of Boston is 617,594, up 5% from 2000. The residential tax rate for Boston is $12.58.
Dover had 44 sales for the first six months of 2014, with an average selling price of $1,039,722. Located just 40 minutes from Boston, the town of Dover retains a country-like atmosphere. Dover has plenty of open green space including Noanet Woodlands, with over 500 acres of preserved space and trails for hiking, birding, and mountain biking. The Dover School District ranked #1 in Boston Magazine’s Best Schools in Boston list and Dover-Sherborn High Regional High School ranked #7 in the US News and World Report list of top high schools in Massachusetts. The population of Dover is 5,589, up .5% since 2000. The residential tax rate in Dover is $13.08.
Edgartown had 39 home sales for the first six months of 2014 and the average selling price for a home is $1,026,737. Picturesque Edgartown is one of six towns on Martha’s Vineyard. Edgartown is known for its beautiful historic homes built during 17th and 18th centuries. There are coffee shops, art galleries, bookstores, and boutiques along the brick-lined streets in the heart of Edgartown. There’s a wide range of restaurants in town from casual to elegant. Tourists and residents enjoy going to several beaches in town including South Beach, with big waves and three miles of shoreline. The population of Edgartown is 4,067, up almost 8% since 2000. The tax rate in Edgartown is $3.70 which is extremely low.
The average selling price for a home in Lincoln is $973,920. 43 homes sold in Lincoln from January to June. The DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln encompasses 30 acres providing a constantly changing landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern and contemporary sculpture and site-specific installations. Portions of Hanscom Air Force Base are in Lincoln. Lincoln Schools ranked #7 on the list of Boston’s Best Schools. Lincoln is just 15 miles from Boston and has a stop on the MBTA commuter rail. The population of Lincoln is 6,362. The residential tax rate in Lincoln is $14.41.
Historic Lexington makes our list with the average selling price for a home at $971,075. There were 214 homes sold in the first six months of this year. Lexington is a popular tourist destination. In 1775, the first shots rang out in Lexington, which signaled the beginning of the American Revolution. Lexington holds re-enactments of the Battle of Lexington on Patriot’s Day. Other activities include parades, historic house tours, and a road race. The town also has museums and parks including a portion of the Minuteman National Historical Park which consists of over 900 acres of land. Lexington is about 15 miles to Boston and has access to routes 2 and 2A.There is also MBTA bus service which connects the Red Line subway train into Boston. Lexington High School ranks #11 in the US News and World Report’s list of top high schools in Massachusetts and is ranked #3 on the Best Schools in Boston. The population of Lexington is 31,394, an increase of 3% since 2000. The tax rate in Lexington is $15.51.
Homes in Manchester-by-the-Sea sell for an average of $964,513 with 36 home sales in the first half of the year. Located on Cape Ann, Manchester-by -the-Sea was once a summer resort town and is now a now a quaint residential seaside town with stately mansions along the Atlantic coastline. Singing Beach in Manchester is a popular spot for both residents and visitors. This small beach is easily accessible from the center of town, where the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail has a stop. Manchester is ranked #15 on the Best Schools in Boston list. Manchester Essex Regional High School ranks #18 for top high schools in the state from the US News and World Report. The population of Manchester-by-the-Sea is 5,136. The residential tax rate for the town is $10.45.
Brookline rounds out our top ten list with an average home selling price of $960,936. Brookline is surrounded by several Boston neighborhoods including Brighton, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury yet it retains its own unique character. Brookline consists of different neighborhoods such as Longwood, with its Greek revival architecture, and Washington Square with Victorian brownstones. Several branches of the Green Line subway as well as MBTA buses serve Brookline. Brookline has a diverse population and an active arts community. The Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline runs independent films, first run films, documentaries, and hosts special events. Brookline High School ranks #16 in the list of top high schools in Massachusetts by the US News and World Report. The population of Brookline is 58,732, up 3% since 2000. The tax rate in Brookline is $11.39.
Here is the rest of the list of the most expensive towns ranked 11-50:
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Reports provided by The Warren Group. Copyright ©2014 The Warren Group. All Rights Reserved.