House-hunters often treat the Boston region like one big city (as it almost was!), with municipal boundaries blurry amid a steady scramble for properties in a tight, seemingly ever-pricier regional market. And yet. There are stark differences in price between cities and towns.
Below is a deep-dive by real estate research site NeighborhoodX into sales of market-rate single-family homes in various municipalities in the Boston region in 2006 and 2015. The per-square-foot averages here are not adjusted for inflation, but are instead absolutes meant for ready comparison.
A few takeaways:
Single-family prices in Somerville (47 percent), Cambridge (42 percent), Brookline (35 percent), and Medford (24 percent) outpaced the 22 percent rise in Boston proper from 2006 to 2015.
The most modest growth in sales prices was in Chelsea (1.49 percent), Malden (9 percent), Watertown (18 percent), and Arlington (19 percent). Though, we hasten to add, growth is growth, however modest.
Finally, it's important to remember that within these municipalities the differences can be similarly pronounced. For instance, within Cambridge, Kendall Square's single-family per-square-foot average increased 85 percent from 2006 to 2015.
- Greater Boston House Prices, 2006 vs. 2015 [NeighborhoodX]
- Cambridge and Somerville House Prices: How They've Changed Since 2006 [Curbed Boston]
- Boston's Physical Landscape: Four Huge Decisions That Shaped It [Curbed Boston]