In Boston, you can make $80,000 or even $100,000 and still wind up clueless as to how you can afford to invest. But before you go on ranting and freaking out over the crazy prices of all those Back Bay brownstones and lush Seaport District condos, it might be worth taking a look at what neighborhoods have listings that are affordable to middle class buyers and which don't.
The bad news is that nearly half of Boston's 15 neighborhoods are out of reach now for middle class buyers, with the number of listings affordable listings hovering in the low single or double digits. BUT the good news is that Boston is a big city, with the priciest zip codes clustered in a geographically small area downtown, with a number of the city's larger neighborhoods still open for business.
The truth is that buyers making $80,000 or $100,000 a year with good credit standing should still be able to find an affordable home. But because Boston is such a highly competitive real estate market with a lot of strong investors flooding in with capital, "middle income buyers" are still left hanging when it comes to good buys.
To illustrate how tough it is to buy in downtown Boston, take this example: If you are making $80,000 a year, the number of listings in your price range is virtually zero in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill. In other neighborhoods, your odds are a little better, rising to a tiny 2.3 percent in the Fenway and Kenmore neighborhood and then to 2.9 percent in the South End, according to the Boston 2030 report. The North End and Downtown Crossing/Leather District/Midtown are even worse, with just 1.7 percent of all homes and condos within reach. More so damning news is that properties in once blue-collar areas such as Charlestown and South Boston are hardly affordable anymore, with just 3.3 and 4.7 percent of all listings affordable to someone making $80,000.
BUT don't despair - it gets easier from there onwards. Increasingly hot and hip Jamaica Plain isn't easy either to crack for middle class buyers, but with 15 percent of listings within the right price range, you've got more of a shot, the report adds. That number further rises to 27 percent in vibrant Allston-Brighton and 30 percent in solidly middle class West Roxbury, while Roslindale does even better, at 45 percent.
And even more opportunities await in Dorchester, the city's largest neighborhood, and home of Mayor Marty Walsh, where 62 percent of listings are within reach. Hyde Park, where former Mayor Thomas M. Menino resided, is none at all too out of reach at 64 percent, and is tied with Roxbury with the same number of available listings. Up and coming East Boston and Mattapan round out the picture, with 67 and 72 percent of all listings within reach of a middle class buyer making $80,000, according to the study.
Conveniently, we've made a map HERE for you to see what we found in those areas that might just make your burgeoning budget of below $500,000!