educational and financial services fields. Rapid growth in the city’s pharmaceutical industry — with Swiss drug maker Novartis and German drug manufacturers Merck and Pfizer expanding their footprint in Boston in recent years — and its fast- growing technology sector — Amazon, Google, IBM, Nokia and Microsoft have large operations in the city. Greater Boston is the ninth-biggest metro in the country and its economy is growing at a rate of 2.6 percent thanks to its many colleges, universities and biotechnology sector, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis . And job growth is fueling the sizzling Boston real estate market. Biopharma Boom in Cambridge Across the Charles River, in Cambridge, where the biotechnology industry is clustered near Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the blazing hot local real estate market is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the state, according John F. Barmon, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Normally we see a seasonal slowdown in the winter months,” said Barmon. “But inventory is so low that demand is high — and prices keep going up.” Barmon said that in Cambridge and Somerville every property that is listed gets 12 to 15 offers. He said empty nester baby boomers are downsizing in the suburbs and buying smaller condos in Cambridge. “Most of the buyers are very savvy and educated,” said Barmon, who played the role of Spaulding Smails in the 1980 classic

comedy “Caddyshack,” starring Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Ted Knight. “These buyers see each other repeatedly at open houses. They know each other from previous multiple bidding wars. They’re more educated than some of the brokers.”

Barmon. “They’re looking for walkable neighborhoods near transportation hubs like Inman Square, Central Square and Kendall Square.” Barmon said buyers are also looking to purchase near Boston’s subway system, known locally as the T, one of the nation’s oldest transportation systems. He said buyers also want to be near research universities like M.I.T. and Harvard, which

Triple Decker Conversions Barmon said investors are converting multi-family properties into condo

Normally we see a seasonal slowdown in the winter months. But inventory is so low that demand is high — and prices keep going up.” John F. Barmon | Agent at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cambridge, MA

conversions and either renting them out for $5,000 to $6,000 a month for each unit or flipping them for a quick profit. Triple-decker homes, which proliferated a century ago in Boston and throughout New England, are becoming a popular target for investors looking for multiple revenue streams, said Barmon. Triple-decker prices have surged in recent years, he said. Four years ago, triple- deckers sold for $400,000. Now they sell for $870,000, with some fetching more than $1 million. “Folks in their 50s or 60s are selling their suburban single-family homes and buying or renting condos in Cambridge,” said

have transformed Cambridge into a major research hub, attracting thousands of students from around the world. “We’re definitely a condo market,” said Barmon, referring to the thriving Ivy League college town.“Boston has the right combination of universities, hospitals, technology industry and financial services industry,” said Leland DiMeco, the EcoBroker whose company manages over 125 rental units. “It’s an absolute great time to invest in Boston. I see no sign of things slowing down. It’s a great place to live.”


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