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Cambridge Real Estate Market Statistics – January 2009

Cambridge MassachusettsThe Cambridge Real Estate Numbers for January 2009:

There were 296 properties on the market in Cambridge on January 31, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $199,900, the most expensive for $3,275,000. Average days on market was 141.

24 properties sold (closed) in Cambridge during January with an average sales price of $487,181.  The median sales price was $414,000. Average days on market was 66. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Real Estate Market Info
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Did My Cambridge House’s Value Really Go Up 16%?

Sold HouseA recent Boston Globe article has our phone ringing. Sellers want to know if it’s true – did Cambridge single family values really increase by 16%?

In short the answer is NO.  Despite the Globe‘s assertion that “In Cambridge, prices increased a remarkable 16 percent over the year”, prices have not increased dramatically. 

It is true that Cambridge has weathered the real estate storm far better than many Massachusetts towns and cities.  Demand for Cambridge single families and condominiums remains strong and inventory low. Cambridge is a destination city – for suburbanites looking to retire to the city, for graduates of local schools hoping to return to Cambridge, for employees of the many companies headquartered in Cambridge, and for all who love this vibrant Massachusetts city.  Cambridge typically weathers market fluctuations better than most Massachusetts towns and cities.

Is the Globe article wrong?  No – the median price of homes sold in Cambridge did increase substantially in 2008.  The median price of the 133 Cambridge single family homes sold in 2007 was $659,000.  In 2008 the median sales price was $755,000.  But what these numbers show is how difficult it is to draw conclusions about real estate values.

To accurately determine changes in the value of real estate requires tracking the same or very similar properties over time.  Instead, when you look at real estate sales from one year to the next you’re seeing what prices were achieved for whatever houses happened to change hands in that period.  Cambridge does not have a lot of cookie cutter housing.  The mix of houses sold can vary in any period.

And the mix did vary between 2007 and 2008.  Of the 133 single families sold in Cambridge in 2007 23% sold for less than $500,000.  In 2008 19% of the single family sales was for less than $500K.  In 2008 37 of the 109 single family house sales was for $1,000,000 or more representing 34% of the market (vs. 30% in 2007) and  30% of those closed for $2.5M or more.  In 2007 less than 25% of the sales over $1m was for $2.5M or more. In short fewer inexpensive (by Cambridge standards!) houses sold in 2008 and more houses were sold (and available for sale) at the upper end of the price range in 2008.

It is difficult – more so than many admit or understand – to make generalizations about changes in house values.  If you want to know the current value of your property the best thing to do is to ask a real estate agent to prepare a comparative market analysis.  A careful review of house sales similar to yours will give the most accurate estimate of the value of your home – and that’s the most important number!  If you would like more information about the value of your house please contact me.

Categories: Real Estate Market Info
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Arlington Condos – Just The Facts

The Condo Market in Arlington, MA

Highest price paid for a condo in Arlington: $780,000 in 2005 for a free-standing townhouse condominium in Arlington Center.  
Least expensive condo sold in 2008: $95,000 for a two-room, 394 sq.ft. unit
Most expensive condominium sale in Arlington in 2008: $725,000 for a three bedroom, 2.5 bath condo in an historic house on Pleasant Street
Average Arlington, MA condo sale price in 2008: $372,917
Median sale price in 2008: $353,625
Number of condos sold in Arlington:
  •     In 2008:  226
  •     In 2005:  303
  •     In 2000:  159
  •     In 1998:  133
Condominiums make up about 20% of the individually owned housing inventory in Arlington, Massachusetts.  Condos can be found in buildings all over town – in converted two or three-family houses, in classic, older brick buildings, in former schoolshouses, in converted apartment buildings, in high-rise buildings, and in newer townhouse style developments.
See Arlington Condo Buildings and Developments for more information about the types of condos you’ll find in Arlington.
Want to know more? I’m just a phone call or email away!

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