Pandemic Increases Home Buyer Interest in Westwood, a Boston Magazine "Top Place to Live"


Image by Boston Real Estate Media. This house at 159 Greenhill Road in Westwood is an example of the type of home that buyers might find in the community.

In a time of extraordinary demand and “insane prices” in the real estate market, Westwood has landed in Boston magazine’s Top Places to Live. Every year in March, the magazine highlights the region’s most desirable communities.

In this year’s article, author Erin Kayata examined Boston metro area communities based on current trends, values, tax rates, education systems and more. Ms. Kayata’s article opens with the subsection, “Route 128 or Bust.” Before the pandemic, communities along that state highway were popular due to the easy commute and proximity to Boston.

As the pandemic has worn on, with precautions and infection rates increasing and decreasing, Ms. Kayata has seen an effect on the market. “The last few years have been a constant push and pull of things are getting better and then worse,” she says.

Ms. Kayata notes that during the pandemic, some people moved away from the Boston area to places like New Hampshire. However, after spending time there, they have decided they don’t want to live such a quiet life. “People [] in year three of COVID want the best of both worlds. They want to be close to the city and what it offers, but be safe in the suburbs,” she says.

With that in mind, in preparation for her article, Ms. Kayata examined the communities along Route 128. In addition to proximity to the city and convenient transit options, she looked for communities that offer a good school system and a walkable, bustling downtown. Ms. Kayata spoke with realtors and buyers, and Westwood was a community that came up in conversation with both groups as being desirable for those very reasons.

Also catching Ms. Kayata’s eye was the change in median home sale prices in Westwood. Between 2019 to 2021, of all the communities she investigated, Westwood had the largest increase in median home sale price over that two year period, an increase of 40 percent. According to Boston magazine, the median single-family home price in Westwood is $1,049,000. She believes that property values in Westwood have benefitted from its location and the aforementioned push and pull of the pandemic.

People who want it all right away will find Westwood a top place to live, says Ms. Kayata. She notes that Westwood offers space, single family homes with yards, an excellent school district, proximity to Boston and public transit, and access to a walkable, downtown business district.

Thanks to Ms. Erin Kayata for speaking with Westwood Minute.

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