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      Realty Check: Market Trends Second Week Post Summer

      It seems that two weeks post the official end of the summer selling season, Boston's inventory of properties are coming back up - though availability is still quite tight. To give you a picture of how "well" the market is picking up properties, the city has improved its for sale property supply to 1.7 months from only 3.5 weeks a month ago, during the height of it all.

      Boston Downtown Neighborhoods Supply & Demand

      For those confused as to why we measure by the months for our supply, the housing market's inventory is measured by the number of available properties vis-a-vis the current consumer demand. In other words, there's enough properties out there at the moment until the end of November. This, compared to the same dates last month, is a significant improvement when there was barely a month's worth of properties to sate the market's demands.

      As the graph on the right shows, there was very little available properties during the middle of the month of August. This is considered to be the very height of the summer selling season, so that's one reason why this is the case. However, another reason is that the demand these past three years were just extraordinarily higher than the previous years after the housing crisis that befell the country, and only rightly so. In fact, since 2010, there's been a steady decrease in supply and higher demand throughout the entire Greater Boston Area, and more so for Downtown neighborhoods.

      In terms of median prices, values are still rising in the central downtown neighborhoods of the South End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Midtown, Charlestown, Fenway, Leather District, North End, Seaport, South Boston, Waterfront, and West End.

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      $574,350 $613,375 +6.79%

       

      Price per square foot of sold condos and single family homes in the same core neighborhoods also picked up some positive values:

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      $582/sf $644/sf +10.65%  

       

      And, to no surprise, inventory (both for condos and single family properties) has decreased year-on-year for these core downtown neighborhoods:

       9/16/2012 9/16/2013 Change
      512 483 -5.66%

       

      Like mentioned above, this is simply not because of the lack of available properties on the market per se, it is because of the demand hitting record highs these past two years. The absorption of properties have been tremendously fast, and turnover of new developments just can't catch up. Perhaps absorption is also due to the fact that we're just coming out of a buyer's market, and well into a seller's bazaar.

      The number of properties sold in the core downtown neighborhoods of Boston is down, but not by much. This is primarily because the lack of inventory is slowly taking a toll on sales. However, if there were sufficient supply, there would definitely be more sales.

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      2,653 2,748 +3.58%

       

      Interestingly and ironically, sales of luxury properties - both condos and single family $1M and above - have increased significantly in the core downtown neighborhoods:

      Thru 9/16/2012 Thru 9/16/2013 Change
      410 468 +14.15%

       

      So, whether you're a buyer, a seller, or a developer, there is definitely good news all around. It's safe to say that the Boston property market has come roaring back to its feet, and is poised to be even hotter for the next couple of months, despite the colder weather.

      All information provided by Multiple Listings Service (MLS).