May 29, 2024 - News

Massachusetts sees more cities filled with million-dollar homes

A map showing the share of cities with typical home values above $1 million, by U.S. state. Hawaii has the largest share, at 25%. California is second at 21.8%, and New Jersey a distant third at 9.8%. States with the highest share of "$1m cities" tend to be in the West and Northeast.
Data: Zillow; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The number of cities in Massachusetts where the typical home is $1 million or more is growing, per a recent Zillow report.

Why it matters: Wealthy people are the ones who can shop in this market, pushing more homes into the luxury price range.

Between the lines: People with cash don't have to worry about high mortgage rates.

State of play: Massachusetts had 31 "million-dollar" cities and towns in February, up from 27 in February 2023.

  • The Boston metro area, which stretches to New Hampshire, had 23 million-dollar cities, up from 19 a year earlier.

The big picture: The number of U.S. million-dollar cities climbed from 491 to 550 in the last year partly because demand for homes outside of urban areas has grown since the pandemic, Stephanie Anton, president of the Corcoran Affiliate Network, tells Axios.

What they're saying: "For affluent consumers, real estate isn't just a shelter decision," Anton says.

  • These people are motivated to buy a new home in the same way they're motivated to buy a new luxury handbag, Anton explains.
  • It's about signaling who you are, acquiring something unique and buying something because you're "worth it" or "worked hard for it," she says.

The other side: Florida, Texas and Delaware have fewer million-dollar cities than a year ago, per Zillow's report.

The intrigue: "Luxury tends to lead us out of difficult times," Anton says. After 2008, high-end home buyers were the first to make moves.

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