These Are The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In Massachusetts For 2019


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Massachusetts have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2019.

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There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Massachusetts:

Should I buy a place or rent?

Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉

And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Massachusetts, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Bay State.

To do that we are going to look at places in Massachusetts that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.

The best deal in Massachusetts at the moment? That would be Chelsea according to our analysis.

Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Massachusetts for 2019:

  1. Chelsea (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Lynn (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Palmer Town (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Everett (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Boston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Winthrop Town (Homes For Sale)
  7. West Springfield Town (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Methuen Town (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Cambridge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Malden (Photos | Homes For Sale)

The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.

If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in Massachusetts and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Massachusetts.

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Massachusetts for 2019?

We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.

So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Massachusetts. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Massachusetts with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:

  • Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
  • Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
  • Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)

We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Massachusetts with the following caveats:

So of the 245 cities and towns in Massachusetts, only 53 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 53 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.

Turns out that Chelsea is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Bay State.

Read on for more on these places.

Chelsea, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 39,272
Median Home Price: $308,300
Population Change: 2.7%
Home Price Change: 9.8%
More on Chelsea: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The area of Chelsea was first called Winnisimmet by the Massachusett tribe, which once lived there. It was settled in 1624 by Samuel Maverick, whose palisaded trading post is considered the first permanent settlement by Boston Harbor. In 1635, Maverick sold all of Winnisimmet, except for his house and farm, to Richard Bellingham. The community remained part of Boston until it was set off and incorporated in 1739, when it was named after Chelsea, a neighborhood in London, England.

Lynn, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 93,069
Median Home Price: $279,400
Population Change: 1.1%
Home Price Change: 6.0%
More on Lynn: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Prior to European colonization, the area today known as Lynn was inhabited by the Naumkeag people. European settlement of the area was begun in 1629 by Edmund Ingalls, followed by John Tarbox of Lancashire in 1631. The English settled Lynn not long after the 1607 establishment of Jamestown, Virginia–the first successful English colony in North America–and the 1620 arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth. The area today encompassing Lynn was originally incorporated in 1631 as Saugus, the Nipmuck name for the area.|A noteworthy early Lynn colonist, Thomas Halsey, left Lynn to settle the East End of Long Island, where he founded the Town of Southampton, New York. The resulting Halsey House-the oldest extant frame house in New York State –is now open to the public, under the aegis of the Southampton Colonial Society.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,237
Median Home Price: $188,600
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 3.9%
More on Palmer Town: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Palmer is composed of four separate and distinct villages: Depot Village, typically referred to simply as “Palmer”, Thorndike, Three Rivers, and Bondsville. The villages began to develop their distinctive characters in the 18th century, and by the 19th century two rail lines and a trolley line opened the town to population growth. Today, each village has its own post office, and all but Thorndike have their own fire station.

Everett, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 45,212
Median Home Price: $356,500
Population Change: 1.3%
Home Price Change: 5.5%
More on Everett: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Everett was originally part of Charlestown, and later Malden. It separated from Malden in 1870. In 1892, Everett changed from a town to a city. On December 13, 1892, Alonzo H. Evans defeated George E. Smith to become Everett’s first Mayor.

Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 669,158
Median Home Price: $455,100
Population Change: 1.7%
Home Price Change: 7.5%
More on Boston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Boston’s early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine but later renamed it Boston after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, the origin of several prominent colonists. The renaming on September 7, 1630 was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest of fresh water. Their settlement was initially limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC.|In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history; America’s first public school was founded in Boston in 1635. Over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in North America. Boston was the largest town in British America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,391
Median Home Price: $387,200
Population Change: 2.0%
Home Price Change: 5.3%
More on Winthrop Town: Homes For Sale | Data

Winthrop was settled in 1630 by English Puritan colonists as Pullen Poynt, so named because the tides made hard pulling for boatmen. The present town is named after John Winthrop, second governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and an English Puritan leader. On April 8, 1630, Winthrop departed from the Isle of Wight, England on the ship Arbella, arriving in Salem in June where he was met by John Endecott, the first governor of the colony. John Winthrop served as governor for twelve of the colony’s first twenty years of existence. It was he who decided to base the colony at the Shawmut Peninsula, where he and other colonists founded what is now the City of Boston.

West Springfield Town, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 28,671
Median Home Price: $213,800
Population Change: 0.3%
Home Price Change: 5.6%
More on West Springfield Town: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

In paraphrase, from the official town history book… The area that became known as West Springfield was settled in 1635. The settlers fled to higher ground on the east side of the river and founded Springfield in the aftermath of the great hurricane of 1635. West Springfield was good farm land, so some families did stay on the west side.

Methuen Town, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 49,575
Median Home Price: $305,000
Population Change: 1.1%
Home Price Change: 3.8%
More on Methuen Town: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cambridge, MA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 110,893
Median Home Price: $670,200
Population Change: 2.0%
Home Price Change: 6.4%
More on Cambridge: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

In December 1630 the site of what would become Cambridge was chosen because it was safely upriver from Boston Harbor, making it easily defensible from attacks by enemy ships. Thomas Dudley, his daughter Anne Bradstreet, and her husband Simon were among the town’s first settlers. The first houses were built in the spring of 1631. The settlement was initially referred to as “the newe towne”. Official Massachusetts records show the name rendered as Newe Towne by 1632, and as Newtowne by 1638. Located at the first convenient Charles River crossing west of Boston, Newe Towne was one of a number of towns founded by the 700 original Puritan colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony under Governor John Winthrop. Its first preacher was Thomas Hooker, who led many of its original inhabitants west to found the Connecticut Colony; before leaving, they sold their plots to more recent immigrants from England. The original village site is in the heart of today’s Harvard Square. The marketplace where farmers brought crops from surrounding towns to sell survives today as the small park at the corner of John F. Kennedy and Winthrop Streets, then at the edge of a salt marsh. The town comprised a much larger area than the present city, with various outlying parts becoming independent towns over the years: Cambridge Village in 1688, Cambridge Farms in 1712 or 1713, and Little or South Cambridge and Menotomy or West Cambridge in 1807. In the late 19th century, various schemes for annexing Cambridge to Boston were pursued and rejected.|In 1636, the Newe College was founded by the colony to train ministers. According to Cotton Mather, Newe Towne was chosen for the site of the college by the Great and General Court primarily for its proximity to the popular and highly respected Puritan preacher Thomas Shepard. In May 1638, the settlement’s name was changed to Cambridge in honor of the university in Cambridge, England. Hooker and Shepard, Newtowne’s ministers, and the college’s first president, major benefactor, and first schoolmaster were all Cambridge alumni, as was the colony’s governor John Winthrop. In 1629, Winthrop had led the signing of the founding document of the city of Boston, which was known as the Cambridge Agreement, after the university. In 1650, Governor Thomas Dudley signed the charter creating the corporation that still governs Harvard College.

Malden, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 61,212
Median Home Price: $359,700
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 6.1%
More on Malden: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Malden, a hilly woodland area north of the Mystic River, was settled by Puritans in 1640 on land purchased in 1629 from the Pennacook tribe. The area was originally called the “Mistick Side” and was a part of Charlestown. It was incorporated as a separate town in 1649. The name Malden was selected by Joseph Hills, an early settler and landholder, and was named after Maldon, England. The city originally included what are now the adjacent cities of Melrose and Everett.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Massachusetts for 2019

There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Massachusetts. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.

In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 245 places in the state.

So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Massachusetts

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Chelsea 1 $308,300 2.7% 9.8%
Lynn 2 $279,400 1.1% 6.0%
Palmer Town 3 $188,600 0.8% 3.9%
Everett 4 $356,500 1.3% 5.5%
Boston 5 $455,100 1.7% 7.5%
Winthrop Town 6 $387,200 2.0% 5.3%
West Springfield Town 7 $213,800 0.3% 5.6%
Methuen Town 8 $305,000 1.1% 3.8%
Cambridge 9 $670,200 2.0% 6.4%
Malden 10 $359,700 0.8% 6.1%
Melrose 11 $463,300 1.2% 6.0%
Revere 12 $332,100 1.3% 3.7%
Salem 13 $331,300 0.8% 4.4%
Lowell 14 $240,500 1.0% 2.7%
Haverhill 15 $273,300 1.0% 3.3%
Gardner 16 $175,200 0.8% 1.2%
Taunton 17 $246,500 0.6% 4.1%
Brockton 18 $237,000 0.4% 4.5%
Beverly 19 $392,900 1.1% 3.9%
Worcester 20 $210,600 0.6% 2.0%
Fitchburg 21 $183,400 0.6% 1.8%
Medford 22 $443,100 0.9% 5.2%
Somerville 23 $558,300 0.6% 8.9%
Woburn 24 $394,900 0.7% 5.5%
Springfield 25 $148,600 0.4% 1.5%
Weymouth Town 26 $345,300 0.5% 4.5%
Amesbury Town 27 $316,500 0.8% 2.6%
Quincy 28 $384,600 0.5% 4.9%
New Bedford 29 $211,500 0.1% 3.6%
Gloucester 30 $381,000 1.1% 2.7%
Lawrence 31 $238,200 0.2% 3.8%
Peabody 32 $356,200 0.7% 3.1%
Marlborough 33 $325,700 0.6% 2.9%
Southbridge Town 34 $188,200 0.2% 1.5%
Leominster 35 $231,700 0.3% 2.0%
Waltham 36 $463,600 0.2% 6.7%
Fall River 37 $231,300 0.4% 1.5%
Greenfield Town 38 $188,500 -0.0% 2.4%
Watertown Town 39 $480,500 2.1% 1.4%
Westfield 40 $220,500 0.4% -0.8%
Holyoke 41 $182,700 0.2% -3.1%
Newton 42 $845,100 0.2% 7.2%
Pittsfield 43 $173,100 -0.8% 1.3%
Attleboro 44 $273,900 0.5% 1.1%
Agawam Town 45 $223,300 0.2% 1.4%
Chicopee 46 $175,500 -0.6% 1.0%
North Adams 47 $147,500 -0.9% -1.3%
Braintree Town 48 $402,000 0.0% 4.3%
Newburyport 49 $479,100 0.3% 3.7%
Northampton 50 $318,000 0.0% 1.5%
Barnstable Town 51 $355,800 -0.4% 2.9%
Easthampton Town 52 $243,200 0.1% 0.4%
Franklin Town 53 $403,000 -0.1% 3.9%

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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