Home Prices Have Doubled in Five Years in These Boston Neighborhoods

According to real estate trends site Point2Homes, these are the housing markets to watch out for.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Pretty much everything is uncertain in these coronavirus-focused times. Events are being cancelled left and right (as they should), mortgage rates plunged last week and are now drifting back up, and new updates seem to light up our phones by the minute. For better or for worse, though, there is one consistency we can rely on: Boston real estate is still incredibly expensive. In fact, property values in several parts of the city have more than doubled in just the last five years, per a recent report by real estate trends site Point2Homes. It’s great news for those looking to sell their city digs, and uh, pretty bleak information for those of us hoping to one day buy. It’s not exactly breaking news that Boston is getting pricier by the day—but this accelerated increase goes in the face of the investment belief that property values inflate by 100% every decade. This trend, it seems, can no longer be extrapolated to accurately forecast the future of real estate.

Based on 2014 to 2019 median sale price data (including single-families, condos, and multi-families) from sister company PropertyShark, the report ranks 29 Boston zip codes from largest to smallest percent increase in the past five years. Home prices in the top three areas grew by more than 100%, meaning the five-year price difference was more than the median price itself back in 2014. Those zips are: 02120 (part of Roxbury and Mission Hill), with a 127% increase; 02125 (a northern section of Dorchester), which went up by 108%; and 02128 (East Boston), which saw a 105% escalation.

Image via Point2Homes

It’s an unavoidable fact of the way the city has exploded with real estate development over the past decade, and the gentrification that buildup has wrought. Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston are all neighborhoods with historically more affordable housing and ethnic diversity when compared with whiter and more affluent areas such as Back Bay and Beacon Hill. Property value in Beacon Hill zip code 02108, interestingly, actually decreased by 6% since 2014, one of two zones to do so. The other is 02199, the most expensive zip in city limits, which still trumped all others with a median sale price of $3,668, 560—but was down from $5,350,000 in 2014.

From a buyer’s perspective, it certainly doesn’t hurt to see prices going down (or at least not increasing at an exponential clip) in some of the priciest parts of the city. But soaring price tags in the few parts that were once welcoming to middle-income earners increases our risk of becoming a hub for the upper class only.

It’s not all grim news, though. Realtors and recent data have shown that while prices are continuing to rise, they’re not accelerating quite so quickly. A slight slowdown—or market normalization, really—will hopefully open up the proverbial table to everyone that wants to be here.