Tiny Houses in Roslindale Command Top Prices

The homes with the highest prices per square foot are the opposite of mansions.


Roslindale photo by Andrew Watson on Flickr/Creative Commons

When you think of homes with expensive price tags, you might envision grand mansions or ultra-luxe condos. But in Roslindale, the homes with the top prices per square foot are pretty modest.

The average price per square foot is $285, according to real estate data firm NeighborhoodX. Compare that to the year 2000, when the neighborhood average was $142 per square foot. In 16 years, square footage prices have just about doubled.

What’s interesting, though, is the type of houses that are commanding the top prices. Much like in Fenway, where new luxury condo projects hike up the neighborhood’s average prices, a specific type of development is adjusting Roslindale’s averages. But it’s not luxury condos or mansions altering costs—it’s tiny houses.

New research by NeighborhoodX shows that Roslindale’s tiny homes, or dwellings measuring under 1,000-square-feet, are the ones setting the price records. Why? Because you can generally charge much more per square foot in a smaller space. This rings true for all types of homes—just as studios cost more per square foot than larger apartments, tiny homes cost more per square foot than average-sized homes. Roslindale’s above-average population of tiny homes has bolstered this effect.

This is not to say that Roslindale is a tiny home mecca—the neighborhood just has numerous houses with small square footage, from newly built tiny homes to older, smaller structures like carriage houses or outbuildings on former estates. Put simply, housing has stayed affordable for years in Roslindale because of its small homes, but now, the tiny house trend is commanding the most expensive prices per square foot.

Even in 2001, when average prices were at $155 per square foot, the highest price per square foot was $255 for a 950-square-foot bungalow on Coniston Road. Similarly, in 2007, an 824-square-foot cottage sold for $372 per square foot, when the average was only $261. Today, as the average lies at $285, the most expensive rates per square foot go up to $370.

It’s almost ironic that Roslindale’s trendy tiny homes, bungalows, and cottages have spiked square footage averages, especially since the ideology behind downsizing into a smaller home is centered around living more economically (other reasons include a desire to live in more energy-efficient housing and to embrace a clutter-free lifestyle).

See the complete analysis below.

For an interactive version, click here.

For an interactive version, click here.