What does this measure?
The home value reported by the homeowner to the Census Bureau, adjusted for inflation. The median represents the mid-point of home values (half the values are above the median and half below).
Why is this important?
A home is usually a person's or a family's highest-valued possession. Home values are also an indicator of the region's cost of living, relative wealth, and general prosperity.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, the median home value for Essex County was $462,900, higher than the state ($424,700) and substantially higher than the U.S. ($244,900). From 2000 to 2017-21, median values in Essex increased 38%, which could make homeownership increasingly inaccessible to residents with low or moderate incomes. Massachusetts experienced a larger increase in median home values (43%), while values increased at a slower pace at the national level (35%).
Median home values in every municipality in Essex have increased since 2000. The smallest increases occurred in the towns of Boxford (11%), Groveland (12%) and Georgetown (17%). The City of Lawrence had the largest increase (65%), followed by Newburyport (63%), Lynn (60%), Essex (47%), and Methuen (46%). Despite the increase in Lawrence, the City still had the lowest median value in the County, at $311,500, followed by Haverhill, at $347,000, and Methuen, at $371,300. Median values were highest in the towns of Manchester ($881,500), Marblehead ($766,100) and Lynnfield ($741,000).
How do we compare to similar counties?
The median home value in Essex County was substantially less than both Westchester, NY ($559,900) and Middlesex, MA ($575,500), and greater than Lake, IL ($279,500). Lake was the only county to have a decrease in median value since 2000 (10%); Middlesex had an increase of 45% and Westchester 20%.
Notes about the data
Data are presented in 2021 dollars. Because of limitations in available data, figures for 2000 are only for single-family homes, but figures for the ACS five years include all owner-occupied housing units. Figures for the region and surrounding counties were calculated by aggregating county medians based on each county's share of the region's population. Multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.