Real Estate Trends – Boston, Massachusetts


Welcome back again for our latest real estate market trend report.  For those of you that are here for the first time what we do in these reports is examine the real estate market in a city or town in Massachusetts or New Hampshire to evaluate the current conditions.  We do this by looking at the changes in three key metrics year over year for the municipality to see how the market has changed and then evaluate what those observations might mean for that market moving forward.

Today we are highlighting Boston, MA in Suffolk County

 Boston Skyline from BU - Boston MA Real Estate

This is the first time we have ventured into the city of Boston itself.  One reason is that like everyone else I just “knew” it was red hot and just documenting that fact was not all that interesting.  However like so many others this was being blinded by the myth of the market just being red hot.  While there are pockets that are still going up very fast in many areas in the city, and the immediately surrounding areas, there are other markets that are flat or declining (See our articles already this month on Winthrop and Milton).  This will be the first of 5 articles this week looking at markets in the city itself to help educate people that a blanket statement that the Boston, MA market is hot is misguided and dangerous.

Links to the rest of the articles added as soon as they are released: Part 2 – Hyde Park, Part 3 – West Roxbury, Part 4 – North End (Condos) and Part 5 – The Fenway (Condos).

Market Trends in Boston, MA – May 2014 and 2015:

The overall Boston, MA single family housing market appears to be pretty flat since last year.  The average listing was down slightly but the average sales prices were up a little bit.  The days on market have gone down a fair amount year over year as well.  Inventory was way down going from 98 sales in May of 2014 to 67 in May 2015. 

Average Listing Prices:

To start off first we are going to look at the average listing price.  For Boston, MA the average listing price in May 2014 was $693,130.  This was down to $692,116 in May 2015.  That gives a negligibly small 0.15% decrease year over year. 

Average Sale Prices:

Next up we will be looking at is the average sale prices.  The average sale price for Boston, MA in May of 2014 was $679,129 and in May 2015 that was up to $699,388.  That gives a slight 2.98% increase, which is more meaningful than the drop in listing prices but still mostly flat.  Taking a quick look at the Median prices we do not see much offset.  The absolute numbers are a lot smaller with the 2014 median sale price being $485,500 while in 2015 it was $485,000 for a meaningless 0.10% decline.  At most this just makes an argument of a flat market a little firmer. 

Average Days on Market:

The final metric we look at are the average days on market, which is the measure of how long it takes for a house to sell in the current market.  For Boston, MA the average days on market in May of 2014 were 62.61 and the average days on market for May 2015 were 48.84, for a noticeable 21.99% decrease.  This can partially be explained with the large drop in inventory since there were only about 2/3 as many properties selling in 2015.

Boston, Mass Summary:

The Boston, Massachusetts real estate market looks like is has flattened out since last year.  The very small drop in listing prices and small increase in sale prices show things are mostly flat.  However, the fairly significant decrease in days on market could keep things from going into any major decline. 

In summary if you are looking to sell a house in Boston, MA now you should expect to get about the same as you would have last year.  However you should also expect it to take a little less time to sell compared to last year.

Now while the area of the city is always an important factor for housing prices it is much more so in Boston, MA than any other place in the region.  Several of the cities neighborhoods are bigger than many other municipalities in the state (Dorchester itself would be around the 6-7th largest city in the state and Roxbury around the 12-13th), so in Part 2 – Hyde Park and Part 3 – West Roxbury of this series on Boston we will look at two specific neighborhoods of the city to see how they are doing. 


Do you need to sell your Boston, Massachusetts house fast?  If you would like to sell your home fast and hassle free schedule a consultation with us today.

Please share your questions and comments below.




(Image credit: Boston MA from BU’s Student Village by Hequals2henry via Wikipedia)


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