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Top 5 Towns in Massachusetts Real Estate: Year to Date

We ran a report of homes sold in Massachusetts* from January 1 to June 30 in 2012 compared to the first six months of 2011 to see which towns had the biggest increases in sales as well as increases in average selling prices.

We looked at towns that had 100 or more total home sales for the first half of the year. This includes single-family homes, condos, and multi-family properties. To make the list, the towns had to show double digit percentage gains first in the amount of homes sold, and second in the total average selling price.

The Top 5 Towns in Massachusetts with the Biggest Increases in Home Sales and Price are:

1.       Milton

The town of Milton had 170 home sales in 2012 compared to 116 in 2011, an increase of 46.55%. The average home price was $446,942, an increase of 12.91%. Milton was named one of the best places to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine in 2009.

2.      Plymouth

The town of Plymouth had a total of 348 home sales this year compared to 259 the first 6 months of last year, an increase of 34.36%. The average selling price for a home in Plymouth rose to $302,298, an increase of 12.75%.

3.       Methuen

242 homes sold in the city of Methuen in the first 6 months of this year, a 25.39% increase over 193 homes sold in 2011. The average home selling price was $243,487, an increase of 18.68% over last year.

4.       Brewster

Brewster on Cape Cod had 102 home sales in the first half of this year, a 29.11% jump compared to 79 home sales last year. The average price for a home in Brewster increased 17.30% to $386,459.

5.       Bridgewater

Bridgewater rounds out our top 5 list with 100 home sales this year compared to 87 in 2011, an increase of 14.94%. The average selling price for a home in Bridgewater was $248,385, an increase of 14.68%.

Other Notable Towns in Massachusetts in our Midyear Report:

The town with the biggest increase in total home sales for the 6 month period is Boston, with 231 more homes sold in the first 6 months of 2012 compared to the same period last year. 962 homes were sold in Boston in 2012 compared to 731 last year, an increase of 31.6%. The largest increase in average home sale price occurred in the town of Dennis, with an average price of $351,664, an increase of 44.90% over last year. The amount of homes sold in Dennis also increased.  203 homes were sold in Dennis the first half of this year, compared to 174 sold last year, an increase of 16.67%.

Overall, 20% more homes sold in Massachusetts in 2012 compared to last year. 38,345 homes sold in Massachusetts compared to 31,941 for the first half of 2011.

It’s important to note these are average prices, not median home prices for these towns. Outliers can affect average home prices. For instance, according to MLS Property Information Network, there were 2 home sales that were above $2 million in the town of Milton this year; in the same time period last year there weren’t any sales above $2 million. These sales raised the average selling prices in the data. And in Methuen this year, there were fewer homes sold for under $100,000 than in the same time period last year, which also affected the average selling prices in the data.

Why Home Sales Are Increasing

Last week we pointed out in our Midyear Housing Report that several factors are contributing to the improvement in the housing market in Massachusetts: a decrease in homes available for sale, a stabilization of home prices, and a reduction in shadow inventory. These factors as well as the record low mortgage rates are bringing more home buyers to the market.

Even factoring in these outliers, we are definitely seeing a consistent increase in homes sales this year compared to last, indicating the housing market is improving.

*We used data provided by the Warren Group, which records all home sales including private sales. The report shows data for the following counties in Central and Eastern Massachusetts: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. This data will vary slightly from MLS data for the same time period.

Source: Midyear Housing Data © The Warren Group. All rights reserved.