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Greater Boston's Condo Inventory Somehow Drops Even Lower

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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.

In the first two and a half months of 2015, Beacon Hill put 24 condo listing up for sale, but managed to put 27 listings under agreement. Charlestown put 62 on the market and 63 under agreement. The Waterfront: 26 on, 30 off. And Dorchester: 48 on, 58 off. This winter, there were just too few listings and just too many buyers. Something had to break, somebody had to buy. Record snow wasn't going to stop them.
About a year ago, I looked at the available for-sale condominium inventory and wrote, "Boston, it's time to admit you have an inventory problem." At the time, it was hard to imagine the Hub's condo inventory getting any lower. But on this most recent St. Patrick's Day, Boston had about 10 percent fewer condos available for sale than it did last St. Patrick's Day. And on this St. Patrick's Day, about 20 percent fewer Boston condos with list prices under $1 million were available for sale. Obviously, countless perfect winter storms didn't help the city's condo inventory.

Related: How 100 Inches of Snow Affected Real Estate Pros [Curbed Boston]

In the first two and a half months of the year, Dorchester listed only about half as many condos as it did last year; Brighton listed about a third fewer, and the South End listed about a quarter fewer.

Just outside the city, the key condo markets were equally listing light. Somerville listed about 65 percent as many condos as it had in the same period last year, Brookline listed 66 percent as many, and Cambridge celebrated Pi Day taking only 76 percent as many listings as it did in the first two and a half months of 2014.

Obviously, if significantly fewer listings are taken today, it will lead to significantly fewer condos going under agreement tomorrow. Clearly, if Dorchester has only 48 listings available for sale in the first two and a half months of 2015, then there is no way Dorchester can put 97 listings under agreement like it did during the first two and a half months of 2014.

Likewise, if Somerville has only 60 listings to sell, it won't be able to put under agreement 89, like it did during the first two and a half months of 2014. And, because Brighton took only 34 listings in the first two and a half months of 2015, it will be pretty much impossible for 47 Brighton listings to go under agreement, like during the same period last year.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]