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East Boston Housing: the 'It' Neighborhood by the Numbers

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In the junior high cafeteria of Hub real estate, East Boston is sitting at the cool-kids table this week (look, there's Beacon Hill sharing her pretzels with him; there's Charlestown looking on with smoldering jealousy from two tables away). First, the Menino administration starting on Monday stoked fever-pitch interest in a big Chamber of Commerce speech that the mayor was to give the following on a comprehensive development plan for the East Boston waterfront. Then, on Tuesday Mayor Menino gave the speech; and on Wednesday we all parsed it.

Basically, the plan calls for a mixed-use redevelopment of a once largely industrial area, a tact that should be familiar to anyone who's been following South Boston's redevelopment the last few years, which spawned the Innovation District within the Seaport District. The big difference is that the Eastie plan appears to focus more on housing than on the sort of live/work spaces being built by the likes of Goldman Sachs and encouraged by Menino et al (that, and the mayor's idea to tax cruise-ship tourists to pay for part of the Eastie plan). So we thought we'd take a look at the most recent raw housing numbers for East Boston.

The median sales price in East Boston by the last week in November, according to Trulia, was $233,000, an 8 percent drop from a year before. That's also under half the citywide median ($538K).
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The average sales price per square foot in East Boston by the last week in November was $144, a 6.5 percent drop from a year before and much, much lower than the $686 average citywide.
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And, partly due to this earned rep as one of the Hub's more affordable markets, East Boston's sales were up annually. by the low double-digits in November, according to Trulia, actually just outpacing the rise in Boston home sales overall.

But with Menino's redevelopment plan scheduled to get under way by the end of 2012, how long will East Boston remain a cheaper outlier? Recall that in October RentJuice said East Boston had the city's cheapest rents, with a monthly average of $1,355. The most expensive neighborhood for renting? The Seaport District just across the water. You know—the last swath of Boston Menino redeveloped.

· Mayor Menino’s Plan Antes Up for East Boston Renewal [Globe]
· Menino's East Boston Development Plan: the Details [Curbed Boston]
· Is East Boston the New Innovation District? [Curbed Boston]
· East Boston's Rents Are City's Lowest. O.K. And Prices? [Curbed Boston]