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2013 a Busy Year for Hub's High Price Points

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.

The year-over-year* sales-transaction counts for nine key Greater Boston condo markets is telling.

· Sales are up about 1 percent year-over-year.
· Sales for condos selling for more than $500K are up about 30 percent.
· Sales for condos selling in the price range of $700K to $799K are up around 53 percent.

These reflect the nine key markets overall, so if you want to see what price range in your neighborhood has changed the most in terms of demand, you should check out these other price points.

For example, while South Boston condo sales have grown 7 percent so far this year, compared to the same period in 2012, Southie sales between $600K and $900K have more than doubled (36 to 74).

The condo sales in Cambridge reflect a similar story. In Cambridge, transactions are up 6 percent, but sales over $900K have more than doubled (29 to 64).

Jamaica Plain had only one sale in the $700K to $799K range in the first eight and a half months of 2012. This year, 13 sales.

In Charlestown, while year-over-year sales of $600K+ condos have more than doubled (34 to 86), million-dollar-plus sales have gone from just three in 2012 to 17 in 2013.

In the South End, where transactions have increased about 7 percent, sales over $1.5 million have nearly doubled (18 to 35).

Even in markets where there have fewer 2013 transactions than in 2013, higher price ranges buck that trend.

In Somerville, where the median sales price is around $415K and transactions are down around 5 percent, sales between $500K and $699K are up more than 90 percent (48 to 93)

In Brookline, transactions are down around 8 percent, but sales of $1.5 million and over have doubled (five to 10).

In Back Bay, while transactions are down nearly 10 percent, sales of more than $5 million are up nearly 30 percent.

Beacon Hill, a neighborhood whose name provokes images of million-dollar homes, was ironically the only market I reviewed where high-end sales weren't the fastest-growing segment. In Beacon Hill, where (heavens to Betsy!) transactions are running around 20 percent lower than in 2012, the fastest-growing price range was $500K to $599K, up around 70 percent. Some people probably didn't even know it was possible to buy a condo in Beacon Hill for under $599K. LOL.

*All numbers based on a Bates By the Numbers review of MLSPIN reports for the dates 1/1/12-9/14/12 and 1/1/13-9/14/13.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]