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Buyers suddenly hot for 495

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis December 16, 2013 05:30 AM

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The outer suburbs along 495 have been the laggards of Greater Boston's real estate recovery.

But suddenly these late comers are the life of the party.

While some towns along the 128 corridor have already blown past their 2005 peaks, home prices have been slower to rebound along 495, from Marlborough down to Franklin and Wrentham.

But as home buyers are priced out of the 128 beltway, they are starting to reassess their options and take a second look at 495.

And that's sent both prices and sales soaring over past year along the 495 corridor, I find in this piece I wrote for the Globe West.

Wrentham led the way, with a 34 percent increase in its median home price, to $406,250, followed by Pepperell (33 percent), Plainville (21 percent), Medway (18 percent) and Marlborough (13 percent), according stats provided by The Warren Group.

Despite the increases, 495 remains much more affordable compared to the inner suburbs along and inside the 128 corridor.

After all, the median price in Needham has blown past its 2005 peak and now stands at $747,000, nearly twice what Wrentham homes are selling for, Warren Group stats show.

The downside to 495 is the commute - especially if you are working in Boston. Better take the train than slug it out on the Pike or Route 9. That is provided it shows up on time or at all, long a problem for the commuter rail when the weather turns cold and snowy.

But it is possible to find something that has become practically an endangered species inside 128 - unless you are talking about tear downs - new, reasonably priced home construction.

You can still buy a new house in some towns along 495 within that $500,000 price point - Plainville comes to mind.

Buyers, are you ready to head west? Is the tradeoff worth it in terms of snagging a better price but settling for a longer commute?

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

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

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