The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Massachusetts For 2022


We used science and data to determine which cities in Massachusetts that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Massachusetts.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Massachusetts does this very well. Families love the Bay State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Massachusetts that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Massachusetts for 2022.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Massachusetts? That would be Cambridge.
the 2016-2020 American Community Survey for the 52 places in Massachusetts with more than 12,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Massachusetts for 2022:

  1. Cambridge
  2. Boston
  3. Somerville
  4. Malden
  5. Everett
  6. Chelsea
  7. Winthrop Town
  8. Watertown Town
  9. Lawrence
  10. Quincy

What's the most expensive place to live in Massachusetts? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Cambridge is the most expensive place to live in Massachusetts.

So hopefully Palmer Town (the cheapest place to live in Massachusetts) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Massachusetts and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Massachusetts For 2022

1. Cambridge

Cambridge, MA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 117,822
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.8x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.9x (9th most expensive)
More on Cambridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Cambridge comes in at $107,490 and the median home value is $843,100 for 2022.

2. Boston

Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 689,326
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.6x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.3x (5th most expensive)
More on Boston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Boston comes in at $76,298 and the median home value is $581,200 for 2022.

3. Somerville

Somerville, MA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 81,175
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.5x (15th most expensive)
More on Somerville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Somerville comes in at $102,311 and the median home value is $709,800 for 2022.

4. Malden

Malden, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 60,710
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.5x (3rd most expensive)
More on Malden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Malden comes in at $73,399 and the median home value is $447,000 for 2022.

5. Everett

Everett, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 46,275
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.5x (4th most expensive)
More on Everett: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Everett comes in at $70,627 and the median home value is $434,300 for 2022.

6. Chelsea

Chelsea, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 39,878
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.0x (2nd most expensive)
More on Chelsea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Chelsea comes in at $60,370 and the median home value is $369,900 for 2022.

7. Winthrop Town

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,558
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.0x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.8x (11th most expensive)
More on Winthrop Town: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Winthrop Town comes in at $76,996 and the median home value is $461,000 for 2022.

8. Watertown Town

Watertown Town, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 35,749
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.0x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.5x (2most expensive)
More on Watertown Town: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Watertown Town comes in at $100,434 and the median home value is $599,100 for 2022.

9. Lawrence

Lawrence, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 80,022
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.9x (most expensive)
More on Lawrence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lawrence comes in at $45,045 and the median home value is $280,800 for 2022.

10. Quincy

Quincy, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 94,389
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.6x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.5x (10th most expensive)
More on Quincy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Quincy comes in at $80,462 and the median home value is $453,100 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Bay State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Massachusetts
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Massachusetts to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 52 places in Massachusetts that have more than 12,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Massachusetts according to the data is Cambridge. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Massachusetts For 2022

Well there you have it, the places in Massachusetts that have the highest cost of living, with Cambridge ranking as the most expensive city in the Bay State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Massachusetts according to the data:

  1. Palmer Town
  2. North Adams
  3. Pittsfield

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Massachusetts

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Cambridge 4.0 117,822 7.8x 46.9x
2 Boston 4.67 689,326 7.6x 45.3x
3 Somerville 7.0 81,175 6.9x 50.5x
4 Malden 8.67 60,710 6.1x 44.5x
5 Everett 9.0 46,275 6.1x 44.5x
6 Chelsea 11.0 39,878 6.1x 41.0x
7 Winthrop Town 11.33 18,558 6.0x 48.8x
8 Watertown Town 12.67 35,749 6.0x 53.5x
9 Lawrence 13.0 80,022 6.2x 37.9x
10 Quincy 13.33 94,389 5.6x 48.5x
11 Waltham 13.33 62,597 6.0x 54.0x
12 Revere 14.67 53,400 5.7x 46.7x
13 Medford 15.0 58,290 5.5x 50.5x
14 Salem 16.33 43,350 5.7x 50.1x
15 Lynn 16.67 94,201 5.8x 49.4x
16 Woburn 17.0 40,297 5.3x 52.2x
17 Newton 19.0 88,322 6.2x 81.4x
18 Barnstable Town 21.33 44,497 5.2x 53.4x
19 Peabody 21.33 53,004 5.2x 53.7x
20 Gloucester 21.67 30,291 5.7x 61.8x
21 Beverly 24.33 42,062 5.5x 64.5x
22 Newburyport 24.67 18,197 5.5x 83.5x
23 Melrose 24.67 28,054 5.2x 70.0x
24 Worcester 25.0 185,186 4.7x 46.3x
25 Weymouth Town 26.33 57,213 4.5x 55.1x
26 Braintree Town 26.67 37,196 4.8x 67.7x
27 Fall River 26.67 89,618 5.6x 55.2x
28 Lowell 27.33 111,311 4.6x 50.6x
29 Marlborough 28.67 39,663 4.4x 55.7x
30 Brockton 29.0 95,740 4.5x 52.2x
31 Haverhill 29.67 63,783 4.6x 56.7x
32 Holyoke 30.0 40,161 4.6x 50.2x
33 Northampton 30.0 28,552 4.7x 60.4x
34 New Bedford 31.33 95,355 4.9x 56.4x
35 Taunton 33.0 57,327 4.6x 61.9x
36 Springfield 33.67 153,677 3.9x 45.8x
37 Amesbury Town 36.33 17,474 4.3x 68.7x
38 Methuen Town 36.33 50,518 4.2x 65.5x
39 West Springfield Town 37.33 28,527 4.3x 59.8x
40 Franklin Town 38.0 33,644 3.7x 80.5x
41 Easthampton Town 38.33 15,930 4.2x 63.7x
42 Leominster 38.33 41,581 4.1x 62.7x
43 Attleboro 39.0 45,023 4.1x 68.5x
44 Fitchburg 39.0 40,576 4.0x 56.7x
45 Southbridge Town 39.33 16,865 4.1x 57.7x
46 Chicopee 41.0 55,186 3.6x 56.0x
47 Gardner 41.67 20,605 3.7x 59.6x
48 Agawam Town 44.33 28,627 3.2x 64.3x
49 Westfield 45.33 41,303 3.3x 77.2x
50 Pittsfield 45.67 42,514 3.1x 62.4x
51 North Adams 47.33 12,897 3.0x 62.8x
52 Palmer Town 48.67 12,236 2.9x 74.2x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.