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Surest Sign of a Hot Hub Condo Market? Malden Is Happening

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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 2015: 14 Hub Condo Markets



How do you know it's a hot market? Is it when the newest hyper-luxury development (Twenty Two Liberty) announces they sold out before they finished constructing the building? Or could it be when the latest up-and-coming market (East Boston) starts closing dollar-per-square-foot sales that are reminiscent of established markets (Brookline)? These surely evidence that the Hub condo market is alive and quite well, but for my money the sign that it's as hot as a desert brush fire is an email I just received about an 805-square-foot Malden condo priced $240,900.

The message sent through a function of the multiple-listing service informed me that there would be a "GROUP SHOWING THIS EVENING AT 6:00 SHARP." Group showings are indications that there is more than one prospective buyer. But just in case you didn't get the drift of the imminent competition to buy this home, the email communicates, "Offers Due 4PM Tuesday." Did you note the total confidence in the tone? The absence of both the word "if" before the word "offers" and a comma after it? Or the very word "offers" at all, as opposed to say just "offer"? This 2-BR, 1-BA condo at 58 Almont Street is getting OFFERS!

Folks, we're talking about Malden, a heretofore nondescript Hub condo market. Yet, when buyers are getting priced out of South Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, the stalwarts of modestly priced Hub condos in days gone by, it's time to look for new destinations to call home for the next few years. Let's see, where can you find a modestly priced condo in fair proximity to Boston, in a location that seldom makes headlines for crime, a place where MBTA trains and buses go to? Malden.

Malden might be a city without a restaurant row and a locale sans millennial cache, but it certainly seems that groups of buyers are seeing the benefits of living in Malden. Of the 15 MLS-listed Malden condos that closed in the last month, 60 percent went for at least ask, and almost half (seven) sold for more than the asking price.

Jackie Forman, a top agent that works the Malden market, told me that a lot of people who would prefer to be in Somerville or even Medford, have recently put Malden on their list. Asked how many offers a properly priced Malden condominium could get in this market, she responded, "Six, seven, eight offers easy." Need I say more about how hot the Hub condo market is?
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