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Inventory in the Boston Condo Market Continues to Straddle 'E'

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Here's the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by Boston real estate agent David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends you would not otherwise see. And check out his new ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets.

Compared to a year ago, inventory in the nine neighborhoods is down around 14%, but one bedroom condominiums are the least available, down 30%. In a city of singletons that's not good news. It may be a wise idea to wave the one-bedroom driver into the pit area for a fill up.

Currently, there are only 82 one bedrooms available for sale in the nine markets, yet in September, (and not all the numbers are in) MLS has recorded that 90 one-bedroom condominiums went into "pending" status, or in other words found buyers. Just two years ago to the day, there were 283 one-bedrooms available, about 3.5 times more.

That's less than a one month supply. As a reminder we need a three month supply to have anything resembling a neutral market. So guess, what, we don't have anything approaching a neutral market.

I went to an open house for a Brookline 1BR, priced at $315,000. and the brokers could have done better charging admission in lieu of a commission. There had to be 30 people to view that property, off season, and an open house time of 2:30pm.

I guess the bump of interest rates has had little effect.

In September, the median price of a 1BR, is over $400,000. That's up from $361,000 for September 2012.

Of course the pickings for a one bedroom can get even slimmer.

You want to super-size that one bedroom, something over 700 square feet. Well, less than ½ the 1BR available have it, (as well down to 39 from 74 a year ago) and the median price jumps to $535,000. But at least you have twice the opportunity of finding one with garage parking, as only 20 available condos have it.

Want it at a reasonable price? Then now is definitely not the time to be looking at Back Bay one bedrooms, there median price for on market is $649,000. Hey, I could buy a parking space and sleep in it for that kind of money.

Where is one bedroom inventory the lowest? America's new hip neighborhood, Somerville, where there are only two available. Last month in Somerville, five went "pending", meaning there is less than ½ month supply.
· Taxman Auctioning Two Back Bay Parking Spaces [Curbed Boston]
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]