The first Dunkin’ Donuts in the United States, as well as the first chocolate factory.  The deepest tunnel in America, the Ted Williams Tunnel , which is 90 feet underground.  The Boston University Bridge , the only bridge in the world where a boat can sale under a train going under a vehicle driving under an airplane.  Fenway Park , the oldest original major league baseball stadium still in use.

 The oldest public park in the country, Boston Common .  The Old Corner Bookstore , where Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathanial Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wad- sworth Longfellow all met to write and publish, leading to Boston’s nickname, “The Cradle of Ameri- can Literature.”  217 city parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields, including nine parks that comprise the historic Emerald Necklace, a chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways.

Regional Spotlight: Boston, Massachusetts THE “CITY ON A HILL” LEADS THE WAY IN 2018.

by Carole VanSickle Ellis


er metro area, high-paying and extremely attractive employment opportunities in medicine and technology sectors, and a tight housing inventory as reasons for the market heat. “Last year alone, the city of Boston increased in population by 30,000 people, and cities in the surrounding areas experi- enced associated growth as well,” Carpen- ter noted. “Quincy, for example, which is directly south of Boston, saw about a 10,000-person increase and, as a result, 4,000 new residential units went up in Quincy alone.” He added that the demand for housing in the Boston metro area and surrounding areas has driven rents and housing prices sharply upward. “People are definitely willing to pay a big premium for the right property in the right locations,” said Kristin Weekley, a real estate agent with Laer Realty Partners in the Boston area. Weekley added that many of her clients feel that since they are going to live in the area anyway, they need to buy despite high home prices because rents are also extremely high. In areas close to the city center, average monthly rents exceeded $3,800, an average cost-per-square-foot (CPSF) of $3.22, while outlying areas hovered just under $1,500 (average CPSF of $1.31) in early 2018. “There is just not a lot of inventory to buy or rent, though, so we’ve seen people sell their homes, then move in with family until they find another house,” she said. “We also saw an increasing number of retail buyers put in offers way over asking, waive inspections, and still have to com- pete with more than a dozen other buyers.” Not surprisingly, in a competitive

oston, Massachusetts’ real estate market spent 2017 on a tear. The

“City on a Hill” kicked off last year named “third-hottest market” by, and the temperature continued to rise from there. The city solidly beat pro- jections that home prices in the metro area would rise by about six percent over the next 12 months, and median prices in Boston city proper rose as high as $610,000, according to data from verti- cally-integrated single-family service pro- vider Investability Solutions. That growth bled outward generously and quickly. “Boston, the city, had a median home price of $610,000 in December 2017,” observed Dennis Cisterna, Investability’s CEO. “When you consider the entire Bos- ton metro area, which includes a number of surrounding cities and counties, the median home price for that entire area is now $464,000. That’s nearly 30 percent lower than the city, but it is still a high price.” Cisterna noted that the geographic discrepancy in median prices also rep- resents potential for an analytical investor willing to do the math on modernizing older properties within the city limits. 2017 SET THE STAGE, BUT 2018 BRINGS BIG CHANGES “There’s no question that Boston was one of the hottest markets in the nation for real estate in 2017,” said Sean Carpenter, president and CEO of Shamrock Develop- ment Associates, a full-service development, consulting, property and asset management firm active in the Boston area. Carpenter cited an infusion of residents into the great-

 The first Thanksgiving .

36 | think realty magazine :: march 2018

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