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Extreme Over-Asks in the Hub: Where They Happen the Most

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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 and people you would not otherwise notice. Follow him on Twitter and check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.

I surveyed approximately 5,000 Hub condo sales that occurred in the first 10 months of 2014, noting that the majority of Hub condos, about 60 percent, sold for at least their asking price.

Buyers paid at least 1 percent* more than the listing price on 43 percent of these sales.

Additionally, about one out of five (22 percent) paid at least 5 percent over ask and about one out of every 10 (9 percent) paid at least 10 percent over ask.

Surely, all these offers have to be considered great offers. Yet, there were a few accepted offers that were more than great, offers that can only be construed as either incredibly generous, ultra-competitive or flat-out desperate. These offers became the 50 highest over-ask sales in terms of percentage paid over ask.

The 50 most extreme over-ask offers started at 19 percent more than the listing price and went as high as 34 percent more; and, if I had just one word to describe what extreme over-ask offers for Hub condos typically look like, that word would be "Cambridge." In terms of the highest percentages paid over ask, Cambridge sellers accepted 24 of the Hub's 50 most extreme over-ask offers. Folks, that's nearly half the extreme over-ask pie! A city of over-achievers has clearly over-achieved in this venue as well.

While other Hub locales may need million-dollar list prices to generate $100,000 over asks, I found three Cambridge condos listed between $449K and $459K that accepted offers more than $100,000 in excess of their listing price. Incredible! And, almost unbelievably, a $399,000 Cambridge condo that went 24 percent over ask just missed breaking the $100K threshold, selling $95,100 over ask.

A distant second for extreme over-asks was Brookline, which had five (10 percent of the regional total). A wide variety of other Hub communities had sales that showed up among the most extreme over ask condo sales, including Somerville (2), Back Bay (2), Beacon Hill (2), the South End (2), the West End (2), Dorchester (2), Hyde Park (2), Jamaica Plain (3), Allston (1), Brighton (1), Midtown (1) and West Roxbury (1).

One red-hot Hub condo community that was a little more sober about its real estate offers was South Boston, whose highest over-ask was only 14 percent above the listing price.
*Percentages are rounded.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]