- Record number of high-end $2,000,000+ sales, up 65% from 2011 and more than twice the number of sales in 2009.
- Record sale on Fairhaven Hill in Concord at $8,600,000. 74% of high-end sales $2,000,000 to $3,000,000; 5% of sales above $5,000,000.
- Inventories are healthy at all levels relative to sales.
- Strong performance in other high-end markets across New England suggests a return to a more balanced market, driven by significant price adjustments and pent-up demand.
ACTIVE LISTINGS AND SALES, $2,000,000+, Year-End, 2000-2012
In Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the fourth quarter of 2012 the inventory of high-end listings grew slightly to 97 from 87 at the end of 2011. This compares favorably to the record level of 133 listings at the end of 2005.
2012 was a record year for high-end sales in Middlesex County. There were 127 sales compared to 77 in 2011 and the previous record of 126 sales in 2007. Post-bubble sales bottomed out in 2009 with 60 sales.
The first quarter of 2012 was disappointing with sales 35% behind 2011. However, the remaining three quarters were incredibly active with the fourth quarter booking a 150% increase in sales over the past year. Towns with high-end sales in 2012 were Belmont, Cambridge, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Newton, Sherborn, Wayland, Weston, and Winchester.
HIGHEST AND AVERAGE SALE, $2,000,000+, Year-End, 2000-2012
In 2012, the top sale in Middlesex County was a record $8,600,000 for a 16 acre estate on top of Fairhaven Hill in Concord. Also in Concord, LandVest’s listing at 68 GreatMeadows Road sold for $5,264,699. There were 4 other sales above $5,000,000: 1 in Newton and 3 in Weston. The three highest sales in the past twelve years were $15,600,000 last year in Weston, $13,301,027 in Chestnut Hill in 2006, and $10,000,000 in Weston in 2008 (excluding private sales). Of the 127 high-end sales in 2012, 74% (94) were between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 and the average sale price was $2,840,000. Only 5% of high-end sales were above $5,000,000. Unlike some other markets like Cape Cod, the inventory of the highest priced properties in Middlesex County is thin with only 5 listings above $5,000,000.
DAYS ON MARKET, SALES, $2,000,000+,
Days on market for high-end sales improved again during 2012. Average days on market were 168. In comparison, year end days on market were 176 in 2011, 187 in 2010, and 236in 2009. LandVest’s markets continue to improve in volume, turnover, and with significant record sales. As always, special properties expertly presented reaching out to a broad market with a strong value proposition are well received by the market.
SALES BY TOWN, $2,000,000+, Year-End, 2000-2012
Eleven of the 54 cities and towns in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, had high-end sales in 2012. Over the period 2000- 2012, Weston is the leader with 292 sales followed by Newton (287), Cambridge (203), and Concord (134). On a population adjusted basis, Weston is also the leader by a 3-fold margin followed by Concord and Lincoln.
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.
The LandVest High-End Market Watch is a periodic review of select high-end markets in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the Adirondacks. Market data is collected from Multiple Listing Services and does not include private listings. LandVest makes no representation as to the accuracy of the data and therefore is not responsible for any actions taken as a result of use of or reliance on this information.
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