Where Does Your Town Rank?

David Bates / January 27, 2011-8:40 pm

What does the highest-priced home sale in a community tell us about value in that community? Was the ultimate value the community could produce in any given year limited by the excellence of the best available property for sale? Or was the maximum dollar amount garnered in that town for residential real estate limited by forces outside the community? Perhaps, at that particular time and in that particular community, consumers would not pay one dollar more for a property? And in our competitive world, if a town can have a higher-priced sale than its neighbors, does it mean that it’s somehow perceived as more valuable by consumers than the lesser-priced maximum sale in another community? These are questions to ponder as we look at the 2009 highest-priced sales ranked by community.

Although each community gave its best, only one managed to have a home that had all the right features of “location, location, location,” condition and amenities to find a buyer willing to pay $7 million — and that was in Beacon Hill. Outside Boston, Manchester did the best with a sale that topped $6 million. Beverly and Wellesley sold residential homes in excess of $5 million. Cambridge, Dover, Winchester and Brookline had sales that topped $4 million. In one of the toughest years ever in real estate, 24 different towns in the Greater Boston MLS were able to have homes sell in excess of $2 million.

In some communities, there was a significant difference between the highest-priced sale and the second-highest-priced sale, which seemed to indicate that the highest-priced sale in a town was determined by how good was the best available property. Such was the case in Natick, where the highest-priced sale was more than 60 percent higher than the next best.

In other communities, there truly seemed to be a ceiling. While no less than 50 cities and towns in the Greater Boston MLS accomplished million-dollar sales in 2009, Braintree, Quincy and Pembroke topped out at $975,000. Was there anything that would’ve taken one of them over the top? Was there anything that would have caused a buyer to pony up another $25,000 so that the community would have had a million-dollar sale, like Worcester did, or were buyers subtly delivering the news that those are not to be considered million dollar communities?

Conventional wisdom holds that you shouldn’t buy the highest-priced home on the street — but what does it say about buying the highest-priced home in an entire town? That’s a question perhaps best answered by the buyers of the properties listed below, which were the highest-priced sales in their communities.

Where does your town rank?

Rank Town Address Top Price
1 Boston 56 Chestnut $7,000,000
2 Manchester 00 Summer $6,332,250
3 Wellesley 59 Ledgeway $5,960,000
4 Beverly 75 West Street $5,000,000
5 Cambridge 8 Hilliard $4,850,000
6 Dover 72 Farm St $4,420,000
7 Winchester 3 Central Green $4,100,000
8 Brookline 49 Woodland $4,000,000
9 Weston 281 Country Drive $3,775,000
10 Nahant 3 Swallow Cove Road $3,575,000
11 Newton 107 Waban Hill $3,475,000
12 Barnstable 262 & 265 Ocean Drive $3,250,000
13 Carlisle 211 Bellow Hills Road $3,250,000
14 Marblehead 33 Bradlee Rd $3,211,000
15 Westwood Lot 126 Summer St $3,010,910
16 Sudbury Lot 14 Kato Summit $3,010,000
17 Needham 47 Southwood Lane $2,859,000
18 Mashpee 31 Starboard Lane $2,850,000
19 Lincoln 39 Tabor Hill $2,600,000
20 Marshfield 1233 Union $2,337,000
21 Dartmouth 72 Elm St $2,325,000
22 Hingham 52 Fearing $2,300,000
23 Duxbury 21 River Lane $2,125,000
24 Lexington 24 Burroughs Road $2,110,000
25 Wayland Lot 7 Hidden Springs $2,100,000
26 Natick 116 Elliot $1,950,000
27 Topsfield 123 Asbury St $1,875,000
28 Milton 59 Highland $1,715,000
29 Framingham 1064 Grove $1,712,000
30 Hull 20 Summit Ave $1,700,000
31 Gloucester 130 Hesperus Ave $1,620,000
32 Hamilton 675 Bay Road $1,600,000
33 Lynnefield 6 Joseph Lambert $1,580,000
34 Newburyport 386 Merrimac $1,575,000
35 Mansfield 31 Carriage Lane $1,560,000
36 Andover 15 Regency Ridge $1,520,000
37 Essex 51 Lufkin Point $1,520,000
38 Medfield 273 Noth St $1,490,000
39 Hopkinton Lot 55 Connelly Hill Road $1,454,000
40 Scituate 16 Barrys Landing $1,375,000
41 Ipswich 6 Mill $1,350,000
42 Plymouth 44 Five Lanterns Ln $1,340,625
43 Wakefield 127 Chestnut St $1,265,000
44 Melrose 26 Bellevue $1,200,000
45 Newbury 18 High St $1,200,000
46 Norfolk 3 Keeney Pond Road $1,150,000
47 Somerville 1 Benton $1,100,000
48 North Andover Lot 5 Abbey Ln $1,075,000
49 Waltham 58 Matthew Lane $1,052,000
50 Worcester 6 Academy $1,000,000
51 Braintree Lot 4 Oregon Ave $975,000
52 Pembroke 32 Canoe Club Ln $975,000
53 Quincy 46 Crabtree $975,000
54 Watertown 25 Russell Ave $967,500
55 Foxboro 4 Alice Bradley Lane $949,000
56 Holliston 6 Deer Run $940,000
57 Boxborough 394 Littlefield $927,500
58 Hanover 43 Forest St $910,000
59 Canton 23 Cherokee $900,000
60 Marlborough 87 Stetson $880,000
61 Salem 376 Essex $870,000
62 Burlington 10 McCafferty Way $784,900
63 Saugus 12 Vinegar Hill $770,000
64 Medford 26 Woodland $759,000
65 Danvers 40 North St $735,000
66 Peabody 5 Lantern Ln $710,000
67 Lowell 24 Harland Ave $682,250
68 Norwood Lot 3 629 Nahatan $680,000
69 Stoneham 2 Thomas Cir $650,000
70 Millis Lot 16 Orchard St $629,000
71 Haverhill 45 Seven Sister $525,000
72 Brockton 29 Rockmeadow $510,000