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Hey, Who Moved My Market? Hub Condo Prices in '10 vs. '14

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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.


There are few guarantees in life. The only things you can really count on are death, taxes, and apparently Hub condos becoming much more expensive by the square foot.

Last week, my 2014 vs. 2010 chart communicated how Hub buyers had foregone all the more reasonable price-per-square-foot price ($PSF) ranges to make the most costly price range the region's most popular. Way to match quality with quantity, Hub!

This week I have a few charts that show the distribution of sales in dollar-per-square-foot ranges in specific Hub condo markets. They compare the first seven months of 2010 to the first seven months of 2014. And the differences are about as obvious as the difference between that hill you drive up in your town and climbing Mount Everest.

Note, the change in South Boston sales. Market-wide, $400K-plus transactions had increased around 60 percent, but in South Boston, $400K-plus transactions were up around 300 percent. And, while a few years ago the most popular $PSF range for a Southie condo was $327-$373, more recently it was $479-$532. Additionally, while only two South Boston condo sales topped $532 a square foot in 2010, more than 70 Southie sales were able to garner that value in 2014. Way to shoot for the $PSF stars, Southie.


Somerville may be a different market, but it's a similar $PSF story. In 2010, from the get-go, as Somerville transaction counts crossed increasingly higher $PSF ranges, they dissipated, like a spinning top losing power at the end of its run. But, in 2014, as Somerville transaction counts crossed the higher $PSF ranges, they increased in volume and didn't peak until they hit the sixth of the 10 ranges. Way to turn a descending $PSF run into an ascending one, Somerville!


The changes in the South End chart also reflect how sales in the lower $PSF ranges have become fewer and farther between, while sales in the upper $PSF ranges have become par for the Hub condo course. In 2010, the South End had 22 sales under $479 a square foot and only 13 sales over $796 a square foot. But the 2014 results show the South End had about one-tenth as many sales under $479 a square foot and nearly 10 times as many sales over $796 a square foot. Congratulations on the 10X in the most important part of the $PSF range, South End.

Check out the rest of these charts that represent the transaction changes in Hub $PSF ranges. Hopefully, you'll like them a little better than life's other guarantees.


· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]