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$100K Over Asking? Here's Where in the Hub

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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. Check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets.

October closings have been recorded, and they confirm once again that the buyers in nine key Greater Boston neighborhoods* often disregard the listing price and instead offer what they think the market will bear, what the condos' true values are, or simply what it takes to beat out the other buyers interested in their condo of choice.

Fewer than 300 condominiums sold last month in these neighborhoods, but eight sales garnered offers that were at least $100,000 more than the asking price. The buyer that dared to offer the most over asking purchased Unit 401 at 148 Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay, paying $315,000 more than the list. Explaining what provoked the enviable offer, one of the listing agents at 148 Commonwealth, Daria Mclean, wrote that the condo received three offers and "the people bidding just loved the unit" and "really wanted to be near Copley and views of the Com Ave mall."

The eight condos that went for at least six figures over asking in October were located in five different neighborhoods. In September, only five sales went for more than $100K over ask and they hailed from just three neighborhoods. In August, there were six $100K over-asks from four neighborhoods. Thus, October's total is among the highest in recent memory for $100K over-ask sales as well as perhaps the most diverse distribution among the neighborhoods seen thus far.
Seven of the eight massively over-ask sales occurred in the usual suspects: Back Bay (3), Brookline (2), Cambridge (1), and the South End (1). But one neighborhood, Charlestown, was a newcomer to the 2013 Boston real estate game known as, "I see your asking price and raise you $100,000." Multiple offers at 17 Oak Street, #2, a newly constructed 4-BR condo located on a quiet side street, sold for $899,000, exactly $100,000 over the list price, making it the first time this year a Charlestown property has garnered such an offer. The first floor at 17 Oak came to market the same day, but only closed for the asking price.

All combined in October in the nine neighborhoods tracked, 45 percent of sellers received over-ask offers and nearly 59 percent took a minimum of the asking price.

The neighborhood that was the most active for over-ask offers was inventory-starved Cambridge, where 62 percent of October's closings went for over asking and 81 percent of sellers took at least the asking price. Additionally, in October, the average sales price to list price was 103 percent, slightly more than the 102 percent of list Cambridge condos had averaged from New Year's Day through Sept. 30. Charlestown, the neighborhood that just had its first $100K+ over-ask sale, had only 41 percent of October closings garner over ask offers.

* Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Brookline, Cambridge, Charlestown, Jamaica Plain, Somerville, South Boston and the South End
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]