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Town in Focus: Chilmark, MA

The list for the most expensive small town is revealed.

Businessweek named Chilmark, a small town in Dukes Country, Massachusetts as the most expensive small town (with a population of less down 10,000), ahead of 31 other areas in their compiled list. The median home value is set at $2.237 million. Current 30-year fixed rate mortgage in Massachusettes is at 5.649 percent. In 2005, it was already determined to have the highest home values of any town or city in Massachusetts.

The magazine states that Chilmark, which includes the 300-year-old fishing village of Menemsha, has only 1,700 homes (many of them expensive vacation properties), and is the second-least densely populated town on the island. Houses rarely go on sale here, but when they do prices are high. On Sept. 12, a buyer paid $13.8 million for eight acres with a nine-bedroom home situated on the land. In July, another buyer paid $15 million for 27 acres of land near the town’s beautiful Squibnocket Beach.

In Chilmark, serene blue waters remain unpolluted and small houses by the harbor are reminiscent of the old charm that English towns have in common. The town recently renovated their harbor that welcomes thousands of visitors from celebrities to high-profile businessmen all year. Small ships are docked that blend well among the massive houses near the area. Fishing is one source of livelihood and we’re not just talking about regular-sized catches – we mean big. Fish aren’t the only thing on the menus; lobster is also caught and sold quiet often. The Chilmark Store and Larson’s Fish Market are far from Fifth Avenue’s upscale specialty shops but residents sure know why they’ve been around for decades.

During the summer, people flock to beaches like Lucy Vincent, Squibnocket, and Menemsha. Families also gather at the Menemsha Hills Reservation during weekends to commune with nature. Visitors may be surprised with the rural feel that each spot in the area creates. The long coastlines remain placid and quiet that makes a perfect spot for rendezvous among neighbors. Along the hills, you can spot stone fences that are still used to contain sheep, horses and guinea hens.

Homes in Chilmark have high values mainly because of the limited supply that is matched by the high demand from prospective buyers. Most homes are inherited and thus remain in the possession of the families. Available homes for sale are limited residential homes, luxurious country-style retirement abodes, waterfront estates, vast farms and intimate vacation houses.

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