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Frightening! The Hub's Current Condo Inventory

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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.

You guys missed quite the Condominium Halloween Party last Thursday night.

The Greater Boston Condo Inventory was dressed as the TV show Extreme Makeover: Inventory Loss Edition. In just two years, nine key condo markets* shed more than 600 actively marketed condos. In other words, on Oct. 31, 2011, a healthy combined total of 1,077 condos were actively being marketed in these nine areas, but this Halloween only 428 condos were. That's scary!

Granted, it was a creative costume, but it might have been outdone by the Cambridge Condominium Inventory, which was dressed as a stick figure. That's because on Halloween 2011 there were 139 condos on the market in Cambridge, but this Halloween there were only 34. That's a more than 75 percent drop in inventory. If you had any fewer condos on the market in Cambridge, you'd have to come to the party dressed as invisible.

The Beacon Hill, South End and Jamaica Plain condo inventories were dressed as a pack of toothpicks, clearly in need of some carbohydrates and new construction. This Halloween, Beacon Hill had only 19 condos on the market, down from the 30 it had on last Halloween and the 55 it had on in Halloween 2011.

The inventories in the South End and Jamaica Plain suffered similar fates. They had marginal inventories compared to Halloween 2011, and their current inventories were even significantly below (-20% and -38% respectively) the razor-thin inventories that they had available on Halloween 2012.

Bucking the skinny outfit trend, the South Boston Inventory came dressed as Ryan O'Neal. When I talked with the South Boston Inventory, he told me he was thinking of coming either as the character Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies or O'Neal, but felt O'Neal was more appropriate because he used to be thin. I guess Southie is feeling a little angry about the fact that his inventory had just about doubled this Halloween versus a year ago, up to 87 units on the market from 44 on last year's fright night. Don't worry, Southie, the median price of your actively marketed condos went from $419K to $529K in the same period—the extra condos you're carrying are all muscle!

When I went to get some punch at the Condominium Halloween Party, I noticed the Brookline, Back Bay, and Charlestown inventories hanging out. None of them were in costume and quite frankly all sported about the same girth as they did a year ago. Later in the evening, Somerville, dressed as a hipster, boasted to me that despite all the press about how cool she is, she had been able to keep on the market almost exactly the same number of condos she had last Oct. 31."Keep it up!," I told her.

It was a great party and I can't wait to see what those guys come dressed as next year.

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