Cambridge By The Numbers: The Cambridge Real Estate Market in February 2009

Cambridge Real Estate MarketOn the real estate calendar spring starts early.  Some say the beginning of the spring market is January 2nd, others insist the kickoff is the day after the Super Bowl.  One thing’s for sure – there are a lot of great properties coming on the market in Cambridge and buyers are out and about.
Closed sales information reflects activity from two months ago since the average real estate transaction closes about six to eight weeks after a property goes under contract.  Here’s the sales data for February:

306 properties were on the market in Cambridge on February 28, 2009. The lowest priced property was listed for $199,000, the most expensive for $4,850,000. Average days on market was 134.

25 property sales closed in Cambridge during February with an average sales price of $647,500.  The median sales price was $510,000. Average days on market was 89.

Three single family sales closed in February – for $538,000, $895,000 and $3,700,000.

18 condos closed in February. The least expensive condominium sold for $317,000.  The most expensive condo sold for $660,000.  The median condo sales price was $424,500.  Condos sold for an average of 97% of the asking price.

Four multi-family sales closed in February. The lowest sale price for a multi-family was $500,000.  The highest price paid was $820,000. The median sales price was $712,500. Multi-families sold for an average of 96% of list price.

Total Cambridge closed residential real estate sales volume in February was $16,187,500.


Also see:   Cambridge Real Estate Sales Activity in January 2009

Information based on residential sales data in MLSpin.

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Fun And Often Free Things To Do In Cambridge

There’s always something cooking in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  College lectures, museum events, movies, tours and more.  Best yet – most events are inexpensive and many are free – it doesn’t get any better than that!  Here’s the latest roundup of things to do in Cambridge.

Author Readings in Cambridge

Science fiction author, David Weber, reading from his new science fiction adventure novel, Storm From The Shadows. At the Harvard Coop, Harvard Square. Tuesday, March 3 at 7 pm.  Free admission.
Marion Kilson and Florence Ladd, authors of Is That Your Child: Mothers Talk About Raising Biracial Children. At Porter Square Books, Porter Square Mall, Cambridge, MA. Thursday, March 5 at 7 pm. Free admission.
Frank Shirley, author of New Rooms for Old Houses (this is a wonderful book for old house enthusiasts!) will share ideas for expanding the space of your old house without sacrificing its vintage charm.  At Porter Square Books, Porter Square Mall, Cambridge. Tuesday, March 10 at 7 pm. Free admission. 

Lectures In Cambridge

Survival of the Swiftest, Smartest, or Fattest? Human Evolution 150 Years After Darwin
Lecture by Daniel Lieberman at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. Thursday, March 5, 6:00 pm.  Free admission.
When Doctors Are Writers: Elissa Ely (Ely writes amazing essays for the Boston Globe) and Tess Gerritsen talk about how writing affects their medical practice and vice versa. Cambridge Forum, First Parish, 3 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge. Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 pm.  Free admission.

Films In Cambridge

Movie Night at the Schelesinger Library: Dogfight (1991) starring Lili Taylor and River Phoenix.  A discussion with Andrea Walsh, of MIT, will follow the film. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College Room, 10 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard. Wednesday, March 4, 6 pm. Free admission.
Harvard Film Archive: The Notorious Landlady (1962) starring Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon and Operation Mad Ball (1957) starring Jack Lemmon and Ernie Kovacks. Harvard Film Archive at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge.  Monday, March 2 at 7 pm.  Admission: $8.00, seniors $6.00
Friday Night Anime, MIT. 77 Mass Ave, Rm. 6-120, Cambridge.  Friday, March 6 at 7 pm. Free admission.

Other Fun Things To Do In Cambridge

Cambridge Community Television Orientation.  Learn how you can get involved – produce your own tv show, learn video production skills.  CCTV Studios, 675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.  Monday, March 2 at 6:30 pm. Free admission. 
Walking Tour: Discover Mount Auburn.  This 1.5-mile walking tour will focus on the stories of history, monuments, and the lives of those buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark.  580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA. Saturday, March 7, 2:00 pm.  Admission: $10
 Check back often for more fun things to do in Cambridge.  And if you would like your event posted here please contact me.

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Cambridge Real Estate – New Listings Tour – Cambridge and Somerville

Every Wednesday the Cambridge Coldwell Banker Real Estate agents tour the new listings coming on the market.  Today was a great tour.  There were 15 properties on the tour and among them some real gems.  Here are my favorites:

Avon Hill Mansard Townhouse

avon-hill-condoWe started the tour at a very special property – a townhouse condominium in a largely unspoiled Victorian mansard duplex on an Avon Hill side street.  Beautiful period detail, high ceilings, and wonderful views of the surrounding Avon Hill Victorians and backyards from every window.  Most will opt to update this three-bedroom townhouse but the price of $799,000 in this desirable neighborhood struck everyone as a very good buy.

Cambridge Single Family Homes

One of the highlights of our tour was a single family home on Avon Hill.  Essentially new after a complete transformation in 2006, this house is exquisite. New houses or gut renovations are not usually my personal favorites but this house is exceptional.  As I walked through it, accompanied by a chorus of ooohs and aahs from my fellow real estate agents, the Not So Big House books by Sarah Susanka came to mind. Not that the house is small – with four bedrooms, four levels of living space, and over 3500 square feet it’s generously sized – but the fine finishes and exquisite detail remind me of Susanka’s emphasis on quality.  From the beamed ceiling in the living room, the unusually wide staircase, to the perfection of the kitchen and baths – this house is a delight.  Priced at $2,325,000 and one of the nicest Cambridge single family houses I’ve seen in a long time.

Most days the Avon Hill house would be hard to beat but we weren’t done yet.  I’m an old house enthusiast and a huge fan of unspoiled antique houses.  As we walked into the next house on tour, a 13 room, 6 bedroom Victorian, my colleague exclaimed “Now this  is what it’s all about.”  This absolutely lovely quintessential Cambridge home sits on a quarter acre lot on a side street near Brattle Street and the Charles River in West Cambridge.  A grand old home, it has wonderful period detail, elegant formal rooms and sweet and cheery bedrooms. Gracious and inviting, this is the house you think of when you visualize an old Cambridge manse.  Well loved for decades, the next owners will be fortunate to call this house home.

Somerville Condominiums

Somerville CondoWe saw a variety of condominiums in Somerville, Watertown, Cambridge and Arlington on tour. The standout for me was a spacious six-room, two-bedroom condo on Winter Hill in Somerville.  Somerville  has several streets with really beautiful Victorians and Adams Street in Winter Hill is one of them.  This condo, one of five condominiums spread out in the house and adjacent carriage house, is the crown jewel of the association at 60 Adams.  Walk across the wide front porch through the main door of the house – now the private entry to the condo – into an enormous foyer.  Inside, the Victorian golden oak detail is jaw dropping – a built-in bench next to the fireplace in the living room, thickly framed stained glass panels in the formal dining room, columns, pocket doors, and a massive built-in china cabinet with leaded glass doors.  The kitchen is scrumptious – a bit updated, a bit vintage – very usable and completely charming.  60 Adams Street, Somerville is a dazzler and is coming on the market for $424,900. 

Arlington and Watertown Condominiums

We also saw two condos today that are great options for first-time buyers.  One is a newly renovated condo in a brick four-unit condo building in Watertown.  Filled with light, open and bright, this two-bedroom condo with study has a gorgeous kitchen and new bath.  The developer did some very nice detail work and this condo seems exceptionally well priced at $314,000.  If you’re looking for a Cambridge condominium you might want to include this Watertown condo in your search since it’s just off Mount Auburn Street near the Cambridge line.

Another excellent first-time buyer option was a three-room one-bedroom condo in a classic brick building in Arlington near the Capitol Theatre.  Charm and character, hardwood floors and parking for $229,900 and you can hop on the 77 bus to Harvard Square.

I tour new listings all week long. Check back often for the latest and greatest.  See a property you like?  Need more information?  I’m just a phone call or email away!

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Cambridge Real Estate – Weekly New Listings – Cambridge and Somerville Condos

Every Wednesday Cambridge Coldwell Banker agents tour the new real estate listings.  It’s a great opportunity for agents to see the new inventory and for sellers to have plenty of agents through their property at one time.

It was a beautiful day for a tour today – sunny and relatively warm. It felt like spring! 

We saw a variety of Somerville and Cambridge condos on today’s tour. There are some wonderful condominiums coming on the market this week: Read the rest of this entry »

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Cambridge Real Estate – Weekly New Listings Tour – Cambridge – Arlington – Somerville

Our office tours new listings every Wednesday morning.  This morning it was hard to be enthusiastic – 18 degrees, more snow, fewer parking spaces, and the prospect of putting boots on and off at every property was enough to make me want to stay at home where it was warm.

New Listings Tour

But I love touring new listings and I was happy to see we had 15  properties on the tour.  The actual breakdown was 11 condos3 single families, and 1 multi-family.  Since we’ve been in a period of low inventory and it’s been difficult for buyers to find what they want I was delighted to see plenty of new listings on this tour. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Cambridge Events – Hasty Pudding Club Woman of the Year Parade

Following a tradition that began in 1951, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club has chosen Renee Zellweger as 2009’s Woman of the Year.  Previous recipients of the award include Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bette Midler, Jodi Foster, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Scarlett Johansson.

The celebration kicks off with a parade through the streets of Cambridge.  Tickets to the ceremony that follows the parade are available for purchase.
Here’s a video from the day:

When: Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 2:30
Where: Harvard Square
How Much: No charge for the parade.  Following the parade, the pudding pot presentation ceremony and roast will be held at the New College Theatre, 12 Holyoke Street, Cambridge at 3:15pm.  Tickets for the ceremony are $80 and are available at the box office, 617-495-5205. 
For more information visit  or call (202) 465-1311

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Did You Get Your Cambridge Resident Parking Sticker?

ticket-23Because if you didn’t you might have a parking ticket on your car when you get home tonight.

The deadline for having a 2009 Cambridge resident parking sticker on your car was January 31st and the ticketers will be out in full force today. 

Registration forms to get the new stickers were mailed out back in November but there are always plenty of people who leave it to the last minute.  As the deadline nears, the line wraps through the lobby of the City Hall Annex building  on Broadway at Inman.  Head on over if you’ve yet to get your new sticker – but be prepared to wait in line!

parking-stickers-1One new twist this year – despite the outdated instructions on the sticker – new regulations require the parking sticker to be placed on the lower corner of the windshield on the driver’s side.  Thus ends a long standing tradition of amassing a collection of the annual stickers on your passenger window or back windshield.  Long time residents displayed them as a badge of honor and it was fun to see all of the photographs of Cambridge used on the stickers through the years. 

This year’s sticker has a photo by Israel Ferraz of the clock tower at Cambridge City Hall.  The winning photograph was one of 125 submitted in the 2009 resident parking permit photo contest held by the City.

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