BOSTON, February 10, 2015 – The Warren Group announced today the top 10 communities where housing prices have increased the most since the peak of the housing market in 2005 through the end of 2014. The list, compiled for towns where 50 or more single-family home sales were recorded, also ranked the communities where prices have recovered the least since 2005.
The top 10 Bay State communities where the median price of a single-family home increased the most were Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Lexington, South Boston, Brookline, Somerville, Concord, Belmont, Newton and Winchester, respectively. Each of these communities reported double-digit increases in home values since 2005. Cambridge came out on top, recording a 79.8 percent increase in the median price for a single-family home. Prices there rose to $1.2 million in 2014, compared with $667,500 in 2005. Jamaica Plain was second, rising 40.6 percent to a median-selling price of $700,000 in 2014 compared with $498,000 in 2005.
“Statewide, the median home price in Massachusetts peaked in 2005 at $355,000. Since then, we have seen 46 communities rebound from the crash in real estate prices and record an increase in the median selling price of homes,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Proximity to good jobs seems to be the common thread among the top communities. Location matters in real estate, and here we see these key communities adding even more in terms of their home values. In six of the 10 communities, the median home price last year was $899,000 or higher.”
South Boston was one of four communities in the list to record both an increase in the median selling price as well as an increase in the number of sales, an indication of the growth this community has experienced over the last several years. The median selling price of a home in South Boston rose 33 percent from $409,000 in 2005 to $545,000 in 2014. Sales increased by 44 percent, with 95 homes sold in 2014 compared with 66 sold in 2005. Other communities where sales and prices increased were Lexington, Brookline and Concord.
Other Bay State communities have struggled to regain any momentum in price increases or sales. The ten communities with the largest decreases in median prices since 2005 were Athol, Fitchburg, Southbridge, Warren, Orange, Gardner, Winchendon, Barre, Randolph and New Bedford. The community that recorded the largest decrease in home values since 2005 was Athol, with a 36.1 percent decrease in single-family home prices, dropping to $115,000 in 2014 from $179,900 in 2005. Next was Fitchburg, dropping by 32 percent to a selling price of $145,000 in 2014 compared with $213,950 in 2005. The communities of Warren and Orange have lost 30 percent in single-family home values and have also seen an almost 50 percent decline in home sales from 2005 through 2014.
“The extreme decline in median prices in these communities is unfortunate and indicative of the underlying factors occurring in each of these communities,” said Warren. “In order for prices to rebound, an economic revitalization in these areas needs to occur. With low-cost housing abundant, these communities should be able to attract business relocations and start-ups.”