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Why Condo Sales, Prices Jumped in Back Bay, Beacon Hill...

...Charlestown and Fenway. According to a new report from the Listing Information Network, a Boston research concern, 171 high-end condos traded in those neighborhoods during the three months ending Nov. 1, a 27.6 percent jump from the same time last year. The median sales price for the condos also increased annually, by 1 percent, to $685,000. From The Globe this morning:

Larry Rideout, chief executive of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty based in Boston, said his company is among those selling more high-end homes, which, in turn, will help the broader market by expanding inventory as buyers sell their first homes and move to more expensive living quarters. “The money has started to step off the sidelines,’’ Rideout said.
Sales of regular, old condos outside the luxury end saw their own sales jump in the third quarter: 823 traded in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown and Fenway—a 22.5 percent annual increase. The median sales price, however, dipped a bit, by 4 percent , to $457,500.

Reasons given for the sales and prices increases appear rather boilerplate: a better economy, interest in living in an urban area, that aforementioned sudden need to move money off the proverbial sidelines. Might we also add to the list continued historically low mortgage rates and limited supply of new-construction condos in Boston? We might. More on the limited supply here (teaser: a lot of would-be condos are being turned into rentals). For more on the low mortgage rates, talk to your friends who are looking to buy. That's the big reason (the money reason, if you will).

· Condo Sales Climb in Boston [Globe]
· As Boston’s Economy Grows, Demand for Rental Units Outpaces Condo Market [NY Times]