Q1 2014 Condo Market Update: Boston Continues to Sizzle

Quick sales and rising prices continue to characterize the conditions of Boston’s condo market… along with a scarcity of inventory (with limited new construction in the pipeline). According to the Listing Information Network, a Boston company that tracks and reports on condo sales and prices city wide, inventory at the end of March, 2014 was down 23% versus the same point in time a year ago and down 68% versus the same period in 2012.

To illustrate the considerable decline, here’s a snapshot of Boston’s condo inventory for the first quarter of 2014, as reported by LINK, which encompasses the neighborhoods of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, Fenway, the Leather District, Midtown, the North End, the Seaport, South Boston, the South End, the Waterfront and the West End.

Source: LINK, April 2014
Source: LINK, April 2014

While the graph above reflects aggregate data, take a look at the overview of inventory changes within each of the twelve neighborhoods included in the study in the table below.

Inventory by Neighborhood Q1 2014The inventory declines are dramatic—from 44% in the Waterfront to 133% in the South End versus 2012.  When comparing first quarter data of this year to 2013, however, inventory is down to a lesser extent, ranging from 2% to 100% in most neighborhoods. The only neighborhood in which inventory is up since last year at this point in time is the South End, which experienced a 27% increase. Despite this increase in inventory, both the average and median price for condos sold in the South End, as well as the average price for square foot have increased, indicating a continued strong market in this increasingly attractive Boston neighborhood.

Nevertheless, the inventory throughout the city is at or near record lows, depending on the neighborhood, and is a contributing factor to rising if not record prices.

The demand for condos in downtown Boston is attributed to the desire to live near the workplace and/or have access to all the amenities and the lifestyle the city offers. Fueling the demand are investors, whether local or international, who see a strong local economy supported by technology and life sciences and anticipate solid returns and value appreciation from real estate.

The demand to live and work in Boston has never been higher, and all indicators—including the incredibly low fixed rate mortgages available now—say that this is a good time to buy in Boston. If you’re ready to take advantage of Boston’s thriving condo market, please contact me.