Where Might Home Sales Be Subject to the Fair Share Amendment? A Local Breakdown

Key Takeaways

  • In the majority of Massachusetts cities and towns, no homes sold for a net gain of $1 million or more.
  • Because of additional allowable deductions, it is likely that a sale might need to bring in a gain of $1.5 million or more to be eligible for the Fair Share tax.
  • 20% or more of home sales yielded a gain of $1.5 million or more in only five towns.
  • The cities and towns with the most home sales with large capital gains were among the wealthy Boston suburbs, Cape Cod, and on the Islands.

Report Background

In August 2022, MassBudget released a report titled Most Home Sales Will Not Likely Lead to Fair Share Tax Payments. The report found that the vast majority of all home sales would not subject the home sellers to a proposed “millionaire’s tax.” The analysis in this paper provides local data to build upon the findings of that initial report.1

On November 8, 2022, voters will decide on the Fair Share tax. If passed, it would create an additional 4 percent surtax on taxable income over $1 million to support education and transportation.

A very small share of homeowners sell their homes each year. When they do, they are not taxed on the sale price of a home but rather on the capital gain from the sale of the home.2 For example, if a homeowner purchased their home for $700,000 in 2007 and sold it for $1,500,000 in 2022, the gain on the sale is $800,000. Moreover, since the taxable amount of a capital gain from a home sale can usually be reduced by significant deductions ($500,000 on the gain of a primary residence is deductible for married couples), most of these sales will not push the seller over the Fair Share taxable income threshold.3

Where are the most home sales with gains of $1 million or more?

The top ten cities and towns in Massachusetts that sold homes for a gain of $1 million or more are:

  1. Nantucket
  2. Edgartown
  3. Weston
  4. Chilmark
  5. West Tisbury
  1. Aquinnah
  2. Needham
  3. Lexington
  4. Newton
  5. Wellesley
Top 10 Towns with Highest Home Sale Gains Above $1 Million
City or Town% Homes Sold for $1M and AboveNumber of Homes Sold for $1M and Above% Homes Sold for $1.5M and AboveNumber of Homes Sold for $1.5M and AboveTotal Homes Sold
Nantucket52%14332%87274
Edgartown43%3632%2784
Weston34%6324%45185
Chilmark33%520%315
West Tisbury31%1013%432
Aquinnah30%320%210
Needham23%817%23352
Lexington23%9710%42423
Newton21%1979%79923
Wellesley20%7510%38370
Source: The Warren Group; A Massachusetts-based national real estate and mortgage data provider. Data provided for homes sold throughout Calendar Year 2021. Analysis by MassBudget. Totals for $1 million and above include the homes sold for $1.5 million and above.

What does this data show?

There were 194 cities and towns in which no homes were sold for a gain of $1 million or more, making up a majority of towns across the Commonwealth.4 Moreover, in 248 cities and towns no homes sold for a gain of $1.5 million or more.

Furthermore, only five towns (Edgartown, Nantucket, Weston, Chilmark, and Aquinnah) had 20% or more of their home sales yield a gain of $1.5 million or more. For two of these towns, the total number of these sales were only in the single digits. In the remaining 346 cities and towns, only 17 had more than 10 sales yield a gain of $1.5 million or more.

Analysis of the 2021 housing sale data shows that the majority of home sales throughout the Commonwealth would not have been subject to the Fair Share Amendment had it been in place in 2021. Relatively few home sellers across the Commonwealth made one-time gains of $1-$1.5 million or more in 2021.

When deciding whether to pass the Fair Share Amendment in November, Massachusetts voters will determine whether a small portion of the gains from similar future home sales should be dedicated to better fund our local schools, roads, bridges, and transportation systems.

Endnotes

1 All data in this report is from The Warren Group; A Massachusetts-based national real estate and mortgage data provider. Data is provided for homes sold throughout Calendar Year 2021.

2 FAQ: Fair Share Amendment Edition. MassBudget. March 2022.

3 For a more detailed explanation of the difference between sale price and capital gains, or to find more information about the impact of Fair Share, please visit: https://massbudget.org/fairshare/

4 See Appendix II.

Appendix I

This appendix breaks down the home sale gain data across Massachusetts for all 351 cities and towns. It includes how many homes were sold for a gain of $1 million or more as well as how many homes were sold for a gain of $1.5 million or more. Data is available as both raw numbers and percentages. These data are also available as an interactive map attached to the report.

Home Sale Gains by City and Town
Number of Sales and Percent of Sales
CITY OR TOWNGAIN > $1M (NUMBER)GAIN > $1.5M (NUMBER)TOTAL SALESGAIN > $1M (PERCENT)GAIN > $1.5M (PERCENT)
ABINGTON001900%0%
ACTON413691%0%
ACUSHNET00930%0%
ADAMS00880%0%
AGAWAM003300%0%
ALFORD10911%0%
AMESBURY212591%0%
AMHERST002060%0%
ANDOVER944232%1%
AQUINNAH321030%20%
ARLINGTON2514526%0%
ASHBURNHAM001000%0%
ASHBY10373%0%
ASHFIELD00100%0%
ASHLAND102740%0%
ATHOL001760%0%
ATTLEBORO114660%0%
AUBURN002200%0%
AVON00440%0%
AYER00990%0%
BARNSTABLE53269276%3%
BARRE00470%0%
BECKET00470%0%
BEDFORD911327%1%
BELCHERTOWN001370%0%
BELLINGHAM322371%1%
BELMONT281121313%5%
BERKLEY10582%0%
BERLIN00400%0%
BERNARDSTON00170%0%
BEVERLY833822%1%
BILLERICA004120%0%
BLACKSTONE00880%0%
BLANDFORD0090%0%
BOLTON10921%0%
BOSTON21210751774%2%
BOURNE433171%1%
BOXBOROUGH201032%0%
BOXFORD501005%0%
BOYLSTON00560%0%
BRAINTREE204140%0%
BREWSTER1332395%1%
BRIDGEWATER002390%0%
BRIMFIELD00440%0%
BROCKTON119100%0%
BROOKFIELD00320%0%
BROOKLINE834668812%7%
BUCKLAND00150%0%
BURLINGTON902094%0%
CAMBRIDGE874177711%5%
CANTON413151%0%
CARLISLE30684%0%
CARVER001280%0%
CHARLEMONT00140%0%
CHARLTON001430%0%
CHATHAM392322517%10%
CHELMSFORD114720%0%
CHELSEA001730%0%
CHESHIRE00310%0%
CHESTER00160%0%
CHESTERFIELD00130%0%
CHICOPEE004730%0%
CHILMARK531533%20%
CLARKSBURG00190%0%
CLINTON001490%0%
COHASSET17712913%5%
COLRAIN00120%0%
CONCORD431923618%8%
CONWAY00170%0%
CUMMINGTON00100%0%
DALTON00830%0%
DANVERS302891%0%
DARTMOUTH322521%1%
DEDHAM202781%0%
DEERFIELD00370%0%
DENNIS1964135%1%
DIGHTON11921%1%
DOUGLAS001100%0%
DOVER1149312%4%
DRACUT003900%0%
DUDLEY001170%0%
DUNSTABLE00420%0%
DUXBURY1852049%2%
EAST BRIDGEWATER001260%0%
EAST BROOKFIELD00280%0%
EAST LONGMEADOW002170%0%
EASTHAM851396%4%
EASTHAMPTON001160%0%
EASTON203421%0%
EDGARTOWN36278443%32%
EGREMONT21307%3%
ERVING00100%0%
ESSEX21287%4%
EVERETT111991%1%
FAIRHAVEN201511%0%
FALL RIVER1204862%0%
FALMOUTH27135805%2%
FITCHBURG004340%0%
FLORIDA0040%0%
FOXBOROUGH001830%0%
FRAMINGHAM007530%0%
FRANKLIN204430%0%
FREETOWN00710%0%
GARDNER602522%0%
GEORGETOWN101031%0%
GILL00110%0%
GLOUCESTER1782327%3%
GOSHEN00160%0%
GOSNOLD0000%0%
GRAFTON002620%0%
GRANBY00590%0%
GRANVILLE00120%0%
GREAT BARRINGTON311063%1%
GREENFIELD001760%0%
GROTON201461%0%
GROVELAND10681%0%
HADLEY00490%0%
HALIFAX001070%0%
HAMILTON611205%1%
HAMPDEN00590%0%
HANCOCK00240%0%
HANOVER401463%0%
HANSON001090%0%
HARDWICK00230%0%
HARVARD21773%1%
HARWICH1072834%2%
HATFIELD00220%0%
HAVERHILL22228143%3%
HAWLEY0030%0%
HEATH0090%0%
HINGHAM481833115%5%
HINSDALE00100%0%
HOLBROOK001230%0%
HOLDEN003040%0%
HOLLAND00630%0%
HOLLISTON102050%0%
HOLYOKE002390%0%
HOPEDALE00920%0%
HOPKINTON322791%1%
HUBBARDSTON00650%0%
HUDSON102430%0%
HULL402342%0%
HUNTINGTON00200%0%
IPSWICH411573%1%
KINGSTON111601%1%
LAKEVILLE101451%0%
LANCASTER00860%0%
LANESBOROUGH00510%0%
LAWRENCE002750%0%
LEE00750%0%
LEICESTER001120%0%
LENOX311053%1%
LEOMINSTER004930%0%
LEVERETT00120%0%
LEXINGTON974242323%10%
LEYDEN0030%0%
LINCOLN1057314%7%
LITTLETON00970%0%
LONGMEADOW002500%0%
LOWELL11118551%1%
LUDLOW001960%0%
LUNENBURG201431%0%
LYNN107040%0%
LYNNFIELD411313%1%
MALDEN103550%0%
MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA936614%5%
MANSFIELD002540%0%
MARBLEHEAD1762686%2%
MARION51846%1%
MARLBOROUGH004000%0%
MARSHFIELD623102%1%
MASHPEE23124745%3%
MATTAPOISETT62778%3%
MAYNARD001550%0%
MEDFIELD311802%1%
MEDFORD404841%0%
MEDWAY001650%0%
MELROSE302911%0%
MENDON00760%0%
MERRIMAC00750%0%
METHUEN005400%0%
MIDDLEBOROUGH002210%0%
MIDDLEFIELD0060%0%
MIDDLETON721246%2%
MILFORD003140%0%
MILLBURY001340%0%
MILLIS101141%0%
MILLVILLE00420%0%
MILTON2032658%1%
MONROE0000%0%
MONSON00990%0%
MONTAGUE00600%0%
MONTEREY11215%5%
MONTGOMERY0060%0%
MOUNT WASHINGTON0020%0%
NAHANT32349%6%
NANTUCKET1438727452%32%
NATICK805032%0%
NEEDHAM812335223%7%
NEW ASHFORD0030%0%
NEW BEDFORD005590%0%
NEW BRAINTREE00100%0%
NEW MARLBOROUGH00180%0%
NEW SALEM00120%0%
NEWBURY52876%2%
NEWBURYPORT1133104%1%
NEWTON1977992321%9%
NORFOLK201461%0%
NORTH ADAMS001010%0%
NORTH ANDOVER514061%0%
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH003640%0%
NORTH BROOKFIELD00540%0%
NORTH READING812313%0%
NORTHAMPTON002970%0%
NORTHBOROUGH211991%1%
NORTHBRIDGE001960%0%
NORTHFIELD00290%0%
NORTON202421%0%
NORWELL831535%2%
NORWOOD002790%0%
OAK BLUFFS1247117%6%
OAKHAM00160%0%
ORANGE00880%0%
ORLEANS19916611%5%
OTIS00330%0%
OXFORD001690%0%
PALMER001330%0%
PAXTON00520%0%
PEABODY004520%0%
PELHAM00130%0%
PEMBROKE002180%0%
PEPPERELL001690%0%
PERU0060%0%
PETERSHAM00180%0%
PHILLIPSTON00260%0%
PITTSFIELD104950%0%
PLAINFIELD0020%0%
PLAINVILLE001250%0%
PLYMOUTH4010200%0%
PLYMPTON00340%0%
PRINCETON00340%0%
PROVINCETOWN16111948%6%
QUINCY118780%0%
RANDOLPH003160%0%
RAYNHAM001610%0%
READING602942%0%
REHOBOTH101401%0%
REVERE003360%0%
RICHMOND10225%0%
ROCHESTER00540%0%
ROCKLAND002130%0%
ROCKPORT757310%7%
ROWE0010%0%
ROWLEY00770%0%
ROYALSTON00160%0%
RUSSELL00180%0%
RUTLAND001360%0%
SALEM005100%0%
SALISBURY10951%0%
SANDISFIELD00150%0%
SANDWICH524001%1%
SAUGUS202851%0%
SAVOY0070%0%
SCITUATE1653115%2%
SEEKONK101441%0%
SHARON212361%0%
SHEFFIELD31398%3%
SHELBURNE00120%0%
SHERBORN11691%1%
SHIRLEY00940%0%
SHREWSBURY214560%0%
SHUTESBURY00240%0%
SOMERSET001970%0%
SOMERVILLE1124782%0%
SOUTH HADLEY002190%0%
SOUTHAMPTON00500%0%
SOUTHBOROUGH821585%1%
SOUTHBRIDGE001790%0%
SOUTHWICK001290%0%
SPENCER101171%0%
SPRINGFIELD0013600%0%
STERLING001050%0%
STOCKBRIDGE21494%2%
STONEHAM002890%0%
STOUGHTON113260%0%
STOW101081%0%
STURBRIDGE001270%0%
SUDBURY1522576%1%
SUNDERLAND00130%0%
SUTTON001080%0%
SWAMPSCOTT311932%1%
SWANSEA001650%0%
TAUNTON005760%0%
TEMPLETON001160%0%
TEWKSBURY103920%0%
TISBURY1487718%10%
TOLLAND0050%0%
TOPSFIELD32635%3%
TOWNSEND001370%0%
TRURO74908%4%
TYNGSBOROUGH001590%0%
TYRINGHAM0010%0%
UPTON00930%0%
UXBRIDGE001740%0%
WAKEFIELD312801%0%
WALES00300%0%
WALPOLE412871%0%
WALTHAM514931%0%
WARE001090%0%
WAREHAM004030%0%
WARREN00510%0%
WARWICK0050%0%
WASHINGTON0050%0%
WATERTOWN502752%0%
WAYLAND1122125%1%
WEBSTER101931%0%
WELLESLEY753837020%10%
WELLFLEET40716%0%
WENDELL0050%0%
WENHAM42696%3%
WEST BOYLSTON001000%0%
WEST BRIDGEWATER00810%0%
WEST BROOKFIELD00530%0%
WEST NEWBURY30595%0%
WEST SPRINGFIELD002580%0%
WEST STOCKBRIDGE212110%5%
WEST TISBURY1043231%13%
WESTBOROUGH102450%0%
WESTFIELD003970%0%
WESTFORD103340%0%
WESTHAMPTON00110%0%
WESTMINSTER001190%0%
WESTON634518534%24%
WESTPORT001260%0%
WESTWOOD24518713%3%
WEYMOUTH006790%0%
WHATELY0080%0%
WHITMAN001700%0%
WILBRAHAM102130%0%
WILLIAMSBURG00170%0%
WILLIAMSTOWN10771%0%
WILMINGTON002350%0%
WINCHENDON001180%0%
WINCHESTER38826314%3%
WINDSOR0080%0%
WINTHROP001760%0%
WOBURN313471%0%
WORCESTER1115780%0%
WORTHINGTON00120%0%
WRENTHAM401752%0%
YARMOUTH1156392%1%

Appendix II

This appendix identifies the 194 cities and towns within Massachusetts which had no home sales with a net gain of $1 million or more.

Cities and Towns with Zero Home Sale Gains > $1M
ABINGTONDOUGLASLANESBOROOAKHAMSTERLING
ACUSHNETDRACUTLAWRENCEORANGESTONEHAM
ADAMSDUDLEYLEEOTISSTURBRIDGE
AGAWAMDUNSTABLELEICESTEROXFORDSUNDERLAND
AMHERSTEAST BRIDGEWATERLEOMINSTERPALMERSUTTON
ASHBURNHAMEAST BROOKFIELDLEVERETTPAXTONSWANSEA
ASHFIELDEAST LONGMEADOWLEYDENPEABODYTAUNTON
ATHOLEASTHAMPTONLITTLETONPELHAMTEMPLETON
AUBURNERVINGLONGMEADOWPEMBROKETOLLAND
AVONFITCHBURGLUDLOWPEPPERELLTOWNSEND
AYERFLORIDAMANSFIELDPERUTYNGSBORO
BARREFOXBOROMARLBOROUGHPETERSHAMTYRINGHAM
BECKETFRAMINGHAMMAYNARDPHILLIPSTONUPTON
BELCHERTOWNFREETOWNMEDWAYPLAINFIELDUXBRIDGE
BERLINGILLMENDONPLAINVILLEWALES
BERNARDSTONGOSHENMERRIMACPLYMPTONWARE
BILLERICAGOSNOLDMETHUENPRINCETONWAREHAM
BLACKSTONEGRAFTONMIDDLEBORORANDOLPHWARREN
BLANDFORDGRANBYMIDDLEFIELDRAYNHAMWARWICK
BOYLSTONGRANVILLEMILFORDREVEREWASHINGTON
BRIDGEWATERGREENFIELDMILLBURYROCHESTERWENDELL
BRIMFIELDHADLEYMILLVILLEROCKLANDWEST BOYLSTON
BROOKFIELDHALIFAXMONROEROWEWEST BRIDGEWATER
BUCKLANDHAMPDENMONSONROWLEYWEST BROOKFIELD
CARVERHANCOCKMONTAGUEROYALSTONWEST SPRINGFIELD
CHARLEMONTHANSONMONTGOMERYRUSSELLWESTFIELD
CHARLTONHARDWICKMT WASHINGTONRUTLANDWESTHAMPTON
CHELSEAHATFIELDNEW ASHFORDSALEMWESTMINSTER
CHESHIREHAWLEYNEW BEDFORDSANDISFIELDWESTPORT
CHESTERHEATHNEW BRAINTREESAVOYWEYMOUTH
CHESTERFIELDHINSDALENEW MARLBOROSHELBURNEWHATELY
CHICOPEEHOLBROOKNEW SALEMSHIRLEYWHITMAN
CLARKSBURGHOLDENNORTH ADAMSSHUTESBURYWILLIAMSBURG
CLINTONHOLLANDNORTH ATTLEBOROSOMERSETWILMINGTON
COLRAINHOLYOKENORTH BROOKFIELDSOUTH HADLEYWINCHENDON
CONWAYHOPEDALENORTHAMPTONSOUTHAMPTONWINDSOR
CUMMINGTONHUBBARDSTONNORTHBRIDGESOUTHBRIDGEWINTHROP
DALTONHUNTINGTONNORTHFIELDSOUTHWICKWORTHINGTON
DEERFIELDLANCASTERNORWOODSPRINGFIELDTOTAL: 194

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