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How Much Has Your Home’s Value Changed Over the Years?

Wondering if your home’s value has increased or decreased since you purchased it? In the past ten years, average home selling prices in Massachusetts have gone up and down. In the past two years, however, home values in many areas have actually shown significant increases, with some towns seeing larger increases than others. Boston and some of the surrounding towns are seeing the biggest increases in home values since 2003.

We compiled data from MLS Property Information Network (MLSPIN) to find out how home values in each county have changed for the past ten years. We took the average selling prices for all types of homes –single-family, condo, and multi-family—and charted year by year changes for each county in Massachusetts (excluding counties in western Massachusetts).

As you can see from the chart, overall home values started to rise in 2004 and many counties hit peak prices from 2006-2007 during the housing boom. If you purchased a home in 2009, when average prices were at their lowest due to the economic downturn, chances are your home value has increased.

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Average Annual Selling Price by County 2003-2013

Home selling prices in both Middlesex and Suffolk counties are currently at their highest levels since 2003.

High demand for homes has been fueled by low interest rates which give buyers more purchasing power. Interest rates are expected to rise to 5.5% by the end of 2014 so more buyers are scrambling to purchase before they go up. At the same time, home inventory levels are at their lowest levels in 10 years. This combination of more purchasing power and more competition for homes is driving prices in some metro Boston towns to their highest levels ever.

Some other counties are showing steady increases approaching the mid-2000 peak ranges, such as Norfolk County, where home prices are at $495,422 just 1.7% below peak levels, and 13.8% higher than they were in 2003. All counties are above 2003 levels, except for Worcester County, where values rose after 2009 and then dropped again in 2011 and 2012. Worcester County was hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, and now that most of those foreclosures have sold off, prices are showing improvement. This year, Worcester home average prices have gone up 12% compared to last year.

How Has Your Home’s Value Changed: By Type of Home Purchased

We also ran a report showing how home selling prices have changed depending on the type of home purchased: single-family, condo, or multi-family. As you can see from this chart, condo selling prices are the highest they’ve been in 10 years. Multi-families show the biggest drop from peak, but recovered in 2010 and continue to show improvement.  Single-family home prices also continue to show improvement.

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How Has Your Home’s Value Changed: By Year Purchased

Pricing your home accurately is one of the most important factors in getting it sold. Determining the current market value can be a challenge if you purchased the home during a year when prices were either higher or lower than they are now.

We took our data and broke it out to get a ballpark figure for what the average selling price for a home would be depending on both the year it was purchased and by which county it’s located in.

For instance, if you purchased your home in Plymouth County in 2010 for $300,000, then view the box on the chart below labeled “Purchased in: 2010.” You can see the value of your home may have increased by as much as 4%.  However if you bought that same home six years ago, in 2007, you’d go to the box labeled, “Purchased in: 2007,” where it shows the value may have decreased by about 11%.

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Chart showing price change by year and county

Keep in mind these are averages, and within counties home values can vary greatly by town. Other factors will determine your home’s value such as condition, upgrades, and recent home sales in your neighborhood, but this chart can be a good starting point for determining your home’s current market value.