Here is the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by broker David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends you would not otherwise see. This week, David looks at whether the oldest condos on the Boston market will ever find a taker. (Last week, he found Boston's hottest price range right now.)
It may be getting colder outside, but it's hot, hot, hot in these Greater Boston condominium markets.
· In the first eight months of the year, South Boston condo sales in the $300K to $349K range were up 67 percent.
· In Brookline, condo sales in the $450K to $499K price range were up 96 percent.
· In Somerville, condo sales in the $400K to $449K range were up 100 percent. In the $500K to $599K price range, they were up 136 percent! Unbelievable!
Incredible transaction increases are not reserved for price points in just the 3s, 4s or 5s either.
· In the $600K to $699K price range, sales for South End condos were up 78 percent.
· In the $700K to $799K range, sales for Back Bay condos were up 70 percent.
In fact, the higher-end often outperformed the lower end. In Beacon Hill, total condo sales were up only 5 percent, but condo sales in the $1 million to $1.499 million range were up 82 percent.
There may be dozens of residential development projects in Boston's pipeline, but the lack of development during the Great Recession means that when demand overheats it's tough for supply to keep pace. I found eight different markets where the sales pace was so fast and inventory was so low that you could sell the entire on-market inventory in a month or less.
For example, the South End averages nearly six sales a month in the $400K to $449K range, and, today, the South End has only three condominiums on market in that range. That's only a 15-day supply of inventory.
Across the river, Cambridge has been averaging more than 10 sales a month in the $450K to $499K range, and, right now, the city has only five condos available for sale in that range. That's less than a 15-day supply of inventory. David Copperfield couldn't make Boston condo inventory disappear faster!
In such markets, when you make available a condo with a listing price equal to its market value, it's the brokerage equivalent of dropping a cow into a tank of piranha. Watch out! If you are a seller in these markets, congratulations! If you are a buyer in these markets, you might not be able to secure the condo home you want, so consider being geographically flexible.
For more of my breakdown of Boston hottest price points by neighborhood, check out my column last week.
Boston's Hottest Price Points by Neighborhood
Top 5 Price Ranges By Increase in Sales
+136% Somerville, $500K - $599K
+117% Jamaica Plain, $500K - $699K
+100% Somerville, $400K - $449K
+96% Brookline, $450K-$499K
+82% South Boston, $500K - $599K
Top 5 Price Ranges By Absorption*
Cambridge $450K-$499K l .48 l 14 days of inventory
South End $400K-$449K l .51 l 15 days of inventory
Somerville $400K-$449K l .67 l 20 days of inventory
South Boston $300K-$349K l .70 l 21 days of inventory
Back Bay $700K-$799K l .71 l 21 days of inventory
* Dividing current inventory by average number of sales per month
Top Year-Over-Year Sales Increases by Price Range
$300K - $349K JP +69%
$400K - $449K Somerville +100%
$450K - $99K Brookline +96%
$500K - $599K Somerville +136%
$600K - $699K South End +78%
$700K - $799K Back Bay +70%
$1 mil - $1.499 Beacon Hill +82%
Top Year-Over-Year Sales Increases by Neighborhood Price Ranges
Back Bay: $700K - $799K, +70% l $900K - $999K, +38%
Beacon Hill: $1M - $1.499M, +82%
Brookline: $450K - $499K, +96%
Cambridge: $400K- $449K, +63% l $450K - $499K, +51% l $500K-$599K, +65%
Jamaica Plain: $300K-$349K, +69% l $400K-$449K, +58% l $500K-$699K, +117%
Somerville: $400K-$449K, +100% l $450K-$499K, +60% l $500K-$599K, +136%
South Boston: $300K-$349K, +67% l $450K-$499K, +58% l $500K-$599K, +82%.
South End: $400K-$449K, +74% l $600K - $699K, +78% l $1M -$1.499M, +44%
· Our Updated New Development Heatmap: Then There Were 50 [Curbed Boston]
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]