Worcester’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Worcester currently has more than 450 homes on the market. They range in price from $42,900-$550K. The average list price is $193K.
GoLocalWorcester spoke to several realtors who said they wouldn’t name names as to which is the best neighborhood to live in in Worcester. City Councilor and area realtor, George Russell said, “All Worcester neighborhoods have their plus and minuses, but as a politician I am not going to pit one neighborhood against another, especially in my district.” He chuckled during his response.
The West Side winner
The West Side comes in on top with the average priced home in that neighborhood currently listed at $317K. It’s currently the most expensive neighborhood. And there’s a descent amount of inventory with 13 homes currently waiting for a buyer to put in an offer.
Timothy McGourthy, Worcester’s Chief Development Officer said, “Worcester’s West Side boasts larger homes, big lawns, and tree-lined streets, similar to Newton and Wellesley.”
Just because it has the highest averaged home prices doesn’t mean the West Side isn’t for all buyers. Lee Joseph of Coldwell Banker said, “The West Side encompasses a huge area all the way to the Holden line with homes in all price points.”
Foreclosures hurting the market
The foreclosure crisis obviously has had an impact on urban and suburban markets across the country. Worcester has not been immune. It is dragging down sale prices in Worcester. McGourthy said, “We work to limit the extent of the crisis both through programs with partners in the community to assist struggling families to avoid foreclosure and programs to address problem properties that have slid into foreclosure. We have seen the market slow and prices decline, but in many cases homeowners are holding onto properties rather than attempting to sell into a depressed market. “
Many realtors GoLocalWorcester spoke to said the inventory is low. 13 of the 32 neighborhoods in Worcester currently have nothing for sale. The last year has definitely been slower. Joseph said, “I sold 51 homes in 2010. I sold 37 in 2011. The interest rates have kept all buyers on the table. I sell homes from $100K to one million dollars.” Lee said even though she didn’t do the same volume she did do the same in sales, meaning she sold more expensive properties.
The market’s coming back
Lee said the market is in a perfect storm. “ It is the one time I have seen in my 26 years of business where interest rates are low, but at the same time prices are low.”
McGourthy said one of the big selling points for the City of Worcester is its residential market. It’s in an unusual situation where it’s a large city (2nd largest in New England) surrounded by smaller towns. Boston, for example, is surrounded by other cities (Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Revere, etc.) as well as bigger towns (Newton, Wellesley, Needham, etc.).
McGourthy said as a result, Worcester neighborhoods serve those looking for urban as well as suburban lifestyles. Worcester’s West Side boasts larger homes, big lawns, and tree-lined streets, similar to Newton and Wellesley.
As Worcester’s downtown recovers and becomes a more desirable residential community, McGourthy said he's seeing increasing interest in the urban residential living offered in the heart of the central business district and the adjacent Canal District. McGourthy said businesses value a location where cost of living is low and commuting times are short.