Middlesex County, Massachusetts, is the most populous county in New England and is located west and northwest of Boston. It contains some of the wealthier towns in Massachusetts and was recently ranked 10th in the country in terms of the number of millionaires. It includes urban, suburban, and rural areas reaching from urban Cambridge, home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the New Hampshire border. Within Route 95/128, towns with high-end real estate include Belmont with its attractive historic Belmont Hill section; Lexington of Revolutionary War fame; Newton particularly the Chestnut Hill area and home to Boston College; and Winchester with wonderful vistas across the Mystic Lakes. Between Route 95/128 and Route 495, along the Route 2 and Route 20 corridors, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, and Weston are small historic towns that have maintained a sense of their rural past. Sherborn is an anomaly linked more to the neighboring equestrian towns of Dover and Medfield in Norfolk County. Outside Route 495, Groton is notable for its early 19th century architecture, substantial farm land, and two highly-regarded boarding schools: Groton School and Lawrence Academy.
In Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the first half of 2012 the inventory of high-end listings shrank by about 10% (179 vs.193 listings in 2011). This seems to be a trend that started in the third quarter of 2011 and signals a more healthy balance of supply and demand.
First half high-end sales improved significantly compared to last year (54 vs. 42 in 2011) and are 26% above average levels for the past 12 years. Peak high-end sales for the first two quarters occurred in 2007 with 61 sales and in 2005 with 60 sales. The first quarter of 2012 started off slowly with 15 sales, but the second quarter was hot with 39 sales, the best second quarter performance since 2004.