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Listing prices highlight stunning affordabilty gap

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 7, 2013 09:34 AM

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What can the average middle-class family afford in this market?

Well in overpriced Massachusetts, you can definitely cross the classic four-bedroom, two-or-three bath home off your list.

For middle earners, a key figure here is $300,000. That's the cutoff point before you start stretching to buy if your combined family income is $100,000 or less.

Especially, if you have children or children on the way - daycare for a couple of kids can add up to an additional mortgage payment.

Based on that, average listing prices for four bedroom homes are affordable to middle-income buyers in only a handful of communities in the Bay State, as can be seen in these stats just released by Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

And most of these affordable towns are far from Boston and the 128 and 495 corridors, where much of the jobs in the state are clustered.

The report lists 87 cities and mid-sized suburbs and towns across the state.

In just 11 are the average listing prices below $300,000, ranging from $119,000 in Springfield on up to $299,000 in Haverhill. In between are Fitchburg ($179,000), Worcester ($250,000) and Brockton ($265,000).

Between $300,000 and $350,000 are a few more towns, some closer in, such as Attleboro ($317,000), Milford ($341,000) and, a big more remote, Lunenberg ($350,000.)

After that, it's off to the races.

Fifteen towns and cities have average listing prices in the $400,000s, including Framingham and Marlborough, (both $416,000), Quincy ($483,000) and Franklin ($493,000).

Twenty-two cities and towns fall into the $500,000s, including: Northborough ($500,000); Waltham ($533,000); Watertown ($576,000); Scituate ($582,000); Somerville ($595,000); and Canton (596,000).

Seven towns fall into the $600,000s, including Natick ($622,000), Hopkinton ($662,000) and Duxbury ($677,000).

After that, I begin to lose interest - we start to get into price ranges I am likely never to find myself dealing in, either as a home buyer or seller.

Anyway, 14 more towns have average listing prices ranging from the $700,000s to up over a million.

You can probably guess the names, but it includes the W towns as well as Needham, Concord, Hingham, Newton and Norwell.

Are you out their hunting for that four bedroom with two or three baths? What prices are you seeing out there?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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