The South Shore of Massachusetts is a geographic region stretching south and east from Boston toward Cape Cod along the shores of Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay. It is subject to varying descriptions but is typically thought to include municipalities in eastern Norfolk and Plymouth counties. For our purposes, we look at the region as all of Plymouth County (with the exception of the Buzzards Bay towns of Rochester, Wareham, Marion, and Mattapoisett), and including the coastal town of Cohasset, which is located in Norfolk County. South Shore communities typically feature parks and beaches, with multiple recreational and cultural options combined with a location that makes commuting to Boston convenient. Area features that appeal to both locals and tourists are: World’s End, a 250+ acre preserve in Hingham; the South Shore music Circus in Cohasset featuring bands and entertainers like Willie Nelson, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Darius Rucker, the Celtic Tenors and Ronan Tynan; Martina McBride, The Counting Crows, and many more; Nantasket beach in Hull; camping and hiking/biking in Wompatuck State Park; Duxbury Beach; and historic Plymouth to name a few of the area attractions.
Active Listings and Sales, $2,000,000+, Year End, 2000-2011
After Flat 2011, Massachusetts South Shore High End Real Estate Poised for Rebound.
LandVest observed the following trends in the high end real estate market on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Land and home sales above $2M as reported by Massachusetts Multiple Listing Service Cohasset and All Plymouth County towns with the exception of Wareham, Rochester, Marion and Mattapoisett (we have covered those in the South Coast study).
Since 2000, the market above $2M on the South Shore has been through 3-4 distinct market cycles. The 2011 data appears to indicate that it is set to resurge. On the South Shore pre “bubble” (2000-2003) there was between 2-5 sales above $2,000,000. In 2004 it jumped to 14, then set a record in 2005 at 21 sales. It then dropped gradually to 18 in 2006, 19 in 2007, 14 in 2008, 10 in 2009, 11 in 2010, and 8 in 2011.
Highest and Average Sale, $2,000,000+, Year End, 2000-2011
A bright spot for the high end of the South Shore market is that the annual median sale price in 2011 was $2.73M, up from a median sale price in 2010 of $2.55M. According to MLS, LandVest set the record for the highest sale on the South Shore in 2011 which helped not only median sale price, but also number of days on market, as this record sale was only listed 3 days. It was the sale of 322 South Main Street in Cohasset for $4,200,000 by Terry Boyle.
Days on Market, Sales, $2,000,000+, Year End, 2000-2011
In 2011 inventory of available properties was lower in 2011 than in 2010. The number of high end listings in 2011 compared to 2010, when compared quarter over quarter, was down anywhere from 15-29% (the largest dip being in the 4th quarter, which traditionally has a low volume of new listings due to holiday seasons). Average days on the market for properties that sold in 2011 was relatively unchanged year-over-year, going from 277 in 2010 to 282 in 2011.
Sales by Town, $2,000,000+, Year End, 2000-2011
Of the nine cities and towns of the South Shore of Massachusetts that have experienced sales above $2,000,000 since 2000, only three towns had sales at this level in 2011 (4 in Cohasset, 2 in Duxbury, and 1 private sale – that is assumed to be above $2,000,000 in Hingham). Over the period 2000-2011, Cohasset is the leader with 52 sales followed by Hingham (27), and Duxbury (24). Overall, we have not seen any dramatic change in the market over the past couple of years. This segment of the market has always exhibited a relatively low volume of sales but has remained steady and relatively consistent over time. Therefore, we do not see any significant weaknesses in this segment of the market and believe that it remains very stable. With the financial markets improving and interest rates remaining low, we predict a modest increase in median sale price and volume in the above 2MM market on the South Shore this year, with the potential for rapid growth of both sales volume and median price in 2013 and beyond.
Enjoy expansive views of Little Harbor from this magnificent waterfront estate
Surround yourself with salt water views from almost every room of this Nantucket Shingle-style home
Savour the views of Duxbury Beach, Clarks Island and the harbor from the privacy of your own waterfront residence
Lush landscaping on a private peninsula, this Cape-style home is perfect for relaxation as well as outdoor entertaining
For more information about LandVest’s brokerage, real estate consulting, and appraisal services, please contact: Terry Boyle or Nick Pratt.
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 or reliance on this information.