Top 5 Residential Real Estate Investment Markets in Massachusetts

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By Trent Seigfried Updated June 3, 2024
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Edited by Michael Yessis

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Rutland is home to the best residential real estate investment market in Massachusetts.

The 01543 zip code in Rutland presents the greatest opportunity for investors among the 1,332 individual real estate markets in Massachusetts we evaluated. We looked at property values, population trends, and six other metrics for each market. We used that data to calculate each market's InvestScore.

Top 5 Massachusetts residential real estate markets

RankCity InvestScore Affordability Property value appreciation
1Rutland1003.359.33%
2Worcester96.84.2110.22%
3Barnstable94.44.966.92%
4Springfield94.15.164.04%
5Sturbridge92.53.850.67%
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1. Rutland

We've identified the 01543 zip code in Rutland as Massachusetts's best real estate investment market. Here's why.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Rutland

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,332 markets)
Zip code01543N/A
InvestScore 100Highest
Typical property value $495,757[1]102nd lowest
Five-year appreciation 59.33%[2]59th highest
Household income $150,685[3]49th highest
Affordability ratio 3.3most affordable
Five-year population growth 7.6%[4]59th highest
Unemployment rate 2.2%[5]14th lowest
Property taxes $5,551[6]166th lowest
Educational attainment 41.8%[7]187th highest
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Rutland (zip code 01543) is the best residential real estate investment market in Massachusetts. It has the 59th highest property value appreciation among markets we evaluated, with a 59.33% appreciation of the typical property over the last five years.

Rutland is the most affordable market among the 1,332 Massachusetts markets we evaluated, with an affordability ratio of 3.3.

2. Worcester

The 01608 zip code in Worcester is Massachusetts's second-best residential real estate investment market.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Worcester

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,332 markets)
Zip code01608N/A
InvestScore 96.82nd highest
Typical property value $172,248[8]lowest
Five-year appreciation 110.22%[9]the highest
Household income $41,319[10]327th highest
Affordability ratio 4.229th most affordable
Five-year population growth 50.7%[11]3rd highest
Unemployment rate 7.4%[12]283rd lowest
Property taxes $1,604[13]lowest
Educational attainment 32.5%[14]253rd highest
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The 01608 zip code in Worcester features a typical property value of $172,248, the lowest in the state.

Property values have appreciated 110.22% over the past five years, the the highest increase among evaluated markets in the state. Worcester homes have an affordability ratio of 4.2, the 29th most affordable in the state.

3. Barnstable

The 02648 zip code in Barnstable comes in at No. 3 in our ranking of residential real estate investment markets in Massachusetts.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Barnstable

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,332 markets)
Zip code02648N/A
InvestScore 94.43rd highest
Typical property value $637,165[15]185th lowest
Five-year appreciation 66.92%[16]22nd highest
Household income $130,177[17]91st highest
Affordability ratio 4.994th most affordable
Five-year population growth 18.0%[18]10th highest
Unemployment rate 3%[19]37th lowest
Property taxes $3,813[20]53rd lowest
Educational attainment 39.4%[21]211th highest
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With a typical property value of $637,165, Barnstable's 02648 zip code features the 185th lowest property values in the state.

Barnstable homes have an affordability ratio of 4.9, the 94th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

4. Springfield

The 01119 zip code in Springfield ranks No. 4 among Massachusetts's residential real estate investment markets.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Springfield

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,332 markets)
Zip code01119N/A
InvestScore 94.14th highest
Typical property value $277,365[22]11th lowest
Five-year appreciation 64.04%[23]39th highest
Household income $54,326[24]39th highest
Affordability ratio 5.1114th most affordable
Five-year population growth 7.1%[25]61st highest
Unemployment rate 3%[26]37th lowest
Property taxes $3,330[27]25th lowest
Educational attainment 19.1%[28]316th highest
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Property values in Springfield's 01119 zip code have seen the 39th highest increase among evaluated markets in the state, with an appreciation of 64.04% over the past five years.

Springfield's affordability ratio of 5.1 makes it the 114th most affordable among the 1,332 markets we evaluated.

5. Sturbridge

The 01566 zip code in Sturbridge rounds out our top five residential real estate investment markets in Massachusetts.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Sturbridge

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,332 markets)
Zip code01566N/A
InvestScore 92.55th highest
Typical property value $470,757[29]82nd lowest
Five-year appreciation 50.67%[30]127th highest
Household income $122,844[31]127th highest
Affordability ratio 3.811th most affordable
Five-year population growth 13.1%[32]23rd highest
Unemployment rate 2.6%[33]22nd lowest
Property taxes $6,391[34]224th lowest
Educational attainment 43.4%[35]173rd highest
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Property values in Sturbridge's 01566 zip code rose 50.67% over the last five years, ranking the city 127th highest among evaluated markets in Massachusetts.

Sturbridge homes have an affordability ratio of 3.8, the 11th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

How we rank residential real estate markets in Massachusetts

We evaluated 1,332 markets on eight metrics, and then assigned an InvestScore based on their weighted and combined rankings. Each market corresponds to a specific zip code in Massachusetts.

What is InvestScore?

InvestScore is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the residential real estate investment potential of a given market. It takes into account a suite of key data points for each city.

  • Typical property value: This measures the typical home value in this zip code, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. It reflects the typical value for homes in the 35th to 65th percentile range, including all homes, with the numbers smoothed and seasonally adjusted. We prefer lower property values, which indicate both more room for growth and a greater ease of purchase. We assign a weight of 20% to typical property values.
  • Property value appreciation: This measures how much property values have increased in the area over the past five years, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. We prefer a higher appreciation, as it indicates better returns on housing. However, past performance isn't indicative of future results. We assign a weight of 20% to property value appreciation.
  • Median household income: This is the inflation-adjusted median household income in the zip code, according to U.S. Census American Community Survey data. We prefer a higher household income, as it indicates local residents have more income to spend on housing. We assign a weight of 10% to median household income.
  • Affordability ratio: This is the ratio of the typical home value to the median household income in the area. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home, which indicates higher demand. We assign a weight of 15% to the affordability ratio.
  • Population growth: This is how much the area's population has grown over the past five years, according to U.S. Census estimates. Higher is better, as it indicates residents are moving into the area at a rapid clip. We assign a weight of 10% to population growth.
  • Unemployment rate: This is the unemployment rate in the area, according to U.S. Census data. We prefer a lower rate, as it indicates the availability of steady employment in the area, meaning residents will find it much easier to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to unemployment rate.
  • Property tax: This is the median real estate property tax paid in the area, according to U.S. Census estimates. We assign a weight of 10% to property tax.
  • Educational attainment: This is the percentage of residents in the area that have obtained a bachelor's degree or better, according to U.S. Census estimates. We prefer a higher rate because it indicates  local residents who have higher earning potential and thus should be able to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to educational attainment.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article isn't intended as, and shall not be understood or constituted as, financial advice. The information in this article isn't a substitute for financial advice from an investment professional or real estate agent who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your financial situation or the specifics of any individual property.

Article Sources

[1] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[2] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[7] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[8] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[9] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[14] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[15] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[16] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[21] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[22] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[23] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[28] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[29] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[30] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[35] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.

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