Although home prices are on the rise statewide, data on home sales in the Nashoba Valley region is up for debate.

Home prices in Massachusetts increased almost 12 percent between May 2012 and May 2013, according to the most recent data available from the Warren Group. Prices rose from a median price of $290,000 to $324,500 for single-family homes during that time period.

The number of homes sold this May also increased about six percent from May 2012.

"In general, the economy is doing much better than what it was. Consumers are much more confident than they have been in the past few years," said Tim Warren, CEO of the Warren Group.

"There's a pent up demand, and now that consumers are more confident and see the stock market doing well, they've come back into the market. They've been aggressive about going out and finding a home that they want."

Although data for the towns of Ayer, Groton, Harvard, Pepperell, Shirley and Townsend is skewed due to the small number of homes that are sold in each town, the general trend shows that home prices in the Nashoba Valley are on a similar upward trend compared to the rest of the state.

Rena Swezey, principal assessor for the Groton Assessors Department, said she attributes the relatively strong home sales in Groton in part to the good school system.

"There's been a good, steady market and we've continued to keep up with the market. I think Groton is holding its own and increasing. We are certainly not below market value," Swezey said.


Advertisement

However, despite this optimism, some say the growth in the Nashoba Valley region hasn't been as rapid as state data indicates.

Roger Goscombe, owner of the Century 21 in Pepperell, said growth is much stronger inside the Route 495 belt than outside it.

"It always takes longer to recover when you're outside the 495 belt. The towns closer to 495 are doing better, but by the time you move out to places like Ayer, Pepperell and Townsend, its not as strong. It comes eventually, but not at the same rate as Greater Boston rebounds," Goscombe said.

Goscombe said demand for homes is lower in the Nashoba Valley because of a greater commuting distance for people with jobs in Boston.

He also said a high number of vacant and foreclosed-upon homes lower the values of other homes nearby.

"It's hard to keep other property values rebounding rapidly when you have the stigma of foreclosure holding you back," he said.

Despite this, Goscombe said he sees the slow increases continuing, and describes the general trend as "stabilized and slightly improving."

"We've got a lot of good things going for us in our region. The Nashoba Valley has a relatively strong job economy with the presence of Fort Devens and its revitilzation bringing commerce. A lot of new exciting things are happening and are helping boost the demand for the housing in our more rural towns," Goscombe said.

Follow Chelsea Feinstein at Twitter.com/CEFeinstein.