Boston Magazines March issue focused on the Best Places to Live 2009. They took a “look at changes over time in median single-family home and condo prices for 155 cities, towns, and neighborhoods in and around Boston. Data provided by the Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman and the Commercial Record.

I’ve taken the data from their online spreadsheet (see http://www.bostonmagazine.com/boston/bestplaces_2009) and removed the info on condos since we don’t have many here.  Hamilton continues to show more strength than most towns surveyed, while Wenham is in the middle of the pack.  Click to view my spreadsheet which includes 5 worksheets (click the tabs at the bottom to view).  The first is the original data from Boston Magazine, it’s sorted alphabetically.  The next is sorted to show the change in the last year (2007 to 2008).  Then there is the change since the 2005 peak, the change in 10 years, and finally I show just Hamilton and Wenham. 

Here’s a summary:

Hamilton:

Median home price $482,000
One-year change 13.08% (ranked second to Cambridge)
Since market peak -10.58% (ranked 53 out of 155)
Ten Year Change 79.88% (ranked 73 out of 155)

Wenham:

Median home price $453,500
One-year change -8.57% (ranked 82 out of 155)
Since market peak -13.11% (ranked 77 out of 155)
Ten Year Change 45.35% (ranked 153 out of 155)

This is what they said about Wenham: Along the sun-dappled, clam shack—speckled drive that is Route 1A, it’s hard to tell where Wenham begins and Hamilton ends. For Wenham, that’s a boon. The twin towns share a school system, library, and recreation department, as well as a commercial district along their border. But Wenham’s median home price reflects a roughly $50,000 discount from tonier Hamilton’s, making it a smart buy. The state has studied merging the towns into a single municipality (Wenhamilton?), and if it ever pursues such a move, Wenham’s values will be the ones to benefit.

They also did a comparison between Hamilton and Wenham in the section called Five Case Studies.

List of Articles:

It could be worse.
Boston magazine’s methodology and the sources behind the data.
Ten Recession-Proof Towns
Ten towns and neighborhoods where home prices are taking a pass on this whole meltdown thing.
Ten Spots Holding Steady
In today’s economy, holding steady is no small victory. And when the market finally recovers, these spots are primed to take off first.
Top Burgs for Bargain Hunters
If you’ve got the financial security—not to mention the stomach—here’s where to look for real steals.  
    *   I. The Quaint Queue
    To get the Norman Rockwell look without the markup, scout these discounted charmers.
    *   II. The Convenience- and-Culture Club
    Enjoy big-city perks without spending big-city bucks.
    *   III. The Square-Footage Squad
    If you’ve dreamed of more breathing room—or simply a view that’s not of your neighbor—you’ll find it here.
Five Case Studies
We analyzed the current values for specific single-family homes or condos in Cambridge, Wellesley, Allston, Scituate, and the North Shore.
Masters of the House
The region’s busiest real estate agents give us their read on the market (and a few words of wisdom, too). VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW!
Yes, You Really Can Still Get $$$
With national banks doing the bailout shuffle, the best chance for loans lies closer to home.
Local Lenders
A sampling of area banks’ lending activity.
How to Hunker Down
Your starter home is looking like a stay-put home. (Or the empty nest is no longer yielding golden eggs.) Our tips for making do, constructively.
How’s the Market Been Treating Your Town?
A look at changes over time in median single-family home and condo prices for 155 cities, towns, and neighborhoods in and around Boston. 
Map
How the real estate market treated Greater Boston and surrounding towns last year, based on changes in median single-family home prices. Check your town!

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