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Springtime for Hub Over-Asks! Huge Offers Abound in May

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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. Follow him on Twitter and check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.

Hey, Hub, you may not know enough about creating new housing inventory to save your own real estate life—but, boy, you sure can bid up existing inventory like a champion!

Just take a look at your over-ask numbers for May 2014. In the nine markets* I write most about, 64.2 percent of sellers got more than they asked for. That's up from last May's 53 percent. And while last May only five sales in four markets went for at least $100,000 over-ask, this May a whopping 19 sales from seven different markets were able to reach that milestone. Incredible!

Yet, as impressive as these numbers were, there were a few markets within the nine that put up even more amazing numbers.

In Cambridge, 78 percent of May condo sales went over-ask and seven sold for at least $100,000 over-ask. Two Cambridge condos went more than $200,000 over-ask. The residents of Cambridge, who so often become leaders in academia, medicine and business, can now consider themselves over-ask leaders as well.

In neighboring Somerville, more than 90 percent of the May sales I tracked got at least asking price and 80 percent went over-ask. Unbelievable! Would you like another helping of Somerville unbelievable? A year ago, there were no Somerville condos that sold for more than $100,000 over-ask and only one sold for more than $50,000 over-ask. This May, however, two Somerville condos went for more than $100,000 over-ask and 11 garnered at least $50,000 over-ask.

Additionally, compared to May 2013, the steadfast over-ask destination known as Brookline quadrupled its output of $50,000 and $100,000 over-ask sales. In May 2014, four Brookline condos closed at least $100K over-ask and 12 went at least $50K over-ask.

In Jamaica Plain, more than 75 percent of May closings went over-ask and one topped $100K over-ask. In the South End, more than 70 percent went over-ask and two went more than $100K over-ask.

In the 15 months that I have been regularly writing about the over-ask phenomena, May 2014 just became the most impressive over-ask month of them all.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]
*Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Brookline, Cambridge, Charlestown, Jamaica Plain, Somerville, South Boston and the South End