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Study: Wellesley has 7th priciest homes in US

Posted by Leslie Anderson  September 22, 2010 03:59 PM

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By Katrina Ballard, Globe Correspondent

A real estate company released a report today naming Wellesley the seventh most expensive home market in the United States, after four cities in California and two in the Northeast.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate examined the average list prices of single-family homes with four bedrooms and two bathrooms in 300 markets between February and August of this year, said chief executive officer Jim Gillespie.

The survey found the average list price for a Wellesley home was $1,080,458. Newport Beach, Calif., was the most expensive market, with average homes listed at $1,826,348, and Detroit was the most affordable, with prices listed at $68,007.

“There are great universities around there, beautiful homes,” Gillespie said of Wellesley. “It’s something people aspire to.”

Other communities with listed prices higher than Wellesley’s were Palo Alto, Calif.; Rye, N.Y.; San Francisco; La Jolla, Calif.; and Greenwich, Conn.

In Massachusetts, Springfield was found to be the most affordable community, with an average listing of $142,048. The other Massachusetts markets listed in the report were Lexington, with an average listing of $774,642; Acton averaging $656,625, Boston at $627,442, Framingham at $456,304, Branstable at $378,750, Taunton at $288,156, and Worcester at $279,987.

Robert Shortsleeve, regional vice president for the Boston Area Coldwell Banker, called Wellesley a “destination community,” noting easy access to transportation, services, good school systems and physical beauty as factors in the high prices.

“It’s perceived to be better than neighboring towns … a perceived and actual quality of life,” said Shortsleeve.

Though he thinks it’s obvious why homes in Wellesley are expensive, Shortsleeve said the study does eliminate some neighborhoods by only including four-bedroom homes.

He said some homes were too big or too small to be included; for example, many condos in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston cost as much as Wellesley homes, but they did not meet criteria for the study.

Martin Kalisker, broker owner of Weichert Realtors-Synergy in Wellesley Hills, said he was surprised Wellesley was listed higher than other communities in Greater Boston, such as Weston and Lexington. While Kalisker said the average price listed for Wellesley in the Coldwell study is probably right, he said half of his agency’s home listings in Wellesley are for less than $800,000.

“My reaction is that type of information is more harmful to Wellesley than helpful to uninformed consumers,” he said.

View the full report here.

Katrina Ballard can be reached at

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