Westwood, MA Real Estate: Home Sales and Demographic Trends
Westwood is an affluent community which saw tremendous growth at the end of 2011 and has leveled out since then. The population, settled at 14,618 as of the 2010 census, is largely composed of upper-middle class professionals, especially lawyers, doctors, and engineers in their mid-40s. The median income in Westwood is $110,562, significantly greater than the Massachusetts state average. The small number of college students in the area is a contributing factor to the relative lack of Westwood apartments.
Though located in a suburban hub with a reputation for being one of the safest places to raise children, Westwood has a higher crime rate than most of its neighbors. Though still under the national average, Westwood is not as safe as other locales like Wellesley and Natick, with the number of reported rapes and assaults increasing in recent years. Police presence has also increased, however, giving Westwood a higher number of police officers per capita than most of the surrounding communities. This notable effort to put a stop to the problems starting to increase, as well as the steady addition of new Westwood properties, namely the 130-acre University Station, makes this suburb a good investment.
Demographic trends are an important factor when considering buying Westwood real estate. The majority of the population in Westwood is college-educated with large numbers of lawyers, doctors, and engineers taking up residence. The number of lawyers, in particular, is well over the state average, making up 5% of the population. Doctors and surgeons are just under that mark at 4.7%. The number of top executives is also higher than the state average, making up about 6% of the population. All in all, this confluence of wealth is what makes Westwood homes so attractive.
The population has remained steady since 1970 at around 13,000 people. It started to rise at around 1995 to the point where it has settled once again. Unemployment did see a sharp increase in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis, but has since stabilized at 5.2%. Nearly the entire population is Catholic, which makes up 79%. Westwood has been voted by CNN Money as the 13th best place to live in the country. It is also 17th wealthiest town in Massachusetts.
Westwood Real Estate Market
Growth has been steady, but limited, as the number of Westwood properties constructed since the turn of the century averages at about 12 units /year. This is a significant drop from the 90s, which saw 63 buildings constructed in 1997. The same can be said of ’98. The price of development has also increased in Westwood. In 2012, the average cost was $630,400. The median house value in Westwood sits at $613,093 as of 2012. Demand for Westwood apartments is not expected to increase due to large numbers of elderly being kept in nursing homes and almost no student population. The number of developments per year will soon increase, however, after the construction of University Station is complete, changing the real estate landscape and adding hundreds of new Westwood homes for sale.