Greater Boston has second lowest unemployment rate of major US cities
Oct 2011 19

According to an analysis from the National Association of Realtors, the Boston metropolitan area has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country.

Measured in percentages, Boston had about a 6.3% unemployment rate, the latest data available. Only Washington, D.C. did better, with a rate around 6.1%. Las Vegas has a rate over 14%, with Detroit second at about 13%.

Nearby New York is around 8% while San Francisco’s near 10%.

Below, changes to the metro-Boston unemployment rate during the past five years.

boston unemployment 2007-2011

Back Bay open houses for Sunday, October 2, 2011
Sep 2011 30

A complete list of all open houses scheduled for the weekend of October 2, 2011 in the Back Bay.

Please contact me for complete details and to set up private showings.

MLS # Address Description List Price Time/Date
71216431 367 Beacon St 12 room, 5 bed, 4.5 bath Victorian $3,950,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71216285 52 Bay State Road 9 room, 4 bed, 3.5 bath Other (See Remarks) $2,599,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71071409 1 Exeter Street 12 room, 5 bed, 4 full, 2 half bath Other (See Remarks) $3,599,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71293854 7 Bay State Road U:2C 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Brownstone $699,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71293302 6 Arlington St U:2M 6 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $2,100,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
71293330 337 Commonwealth Ave U:40 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Townhouse $1,029,000 Oct 2 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
71293405 483 Beacon St U:35 3 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $449,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71293455 483 Beacon St U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $629,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71293606 180 Commonwealth U:B 3 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $539,000 Oct 2 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71293707 407 Marlborough St U:3A 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $495,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71292461 280 Beacon Street U:71 6 room, 3 bed, 3 bath Mid-Rise $1,399,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71290881 360 Marlborough St U:3 4 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Townhouse $1,199,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71290409 34 Commonwealth Avenue U:3 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Townhouse $824,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71290704 483 Beacon U:71 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Hi-Rise $585,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71287282 8 Gloucester St U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $900,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71287466 236 Beacon St U:4D 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $1,375,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
71286700 168 Marlborough Street U:1 5 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Brownstone $1,725,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
71286473 311 Commonwealth Ave U:41 5 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $749,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71285355 195 Marlborough St U:1 6 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Brownstone $1,075,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71284322 127 Marlborough Street U:2 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $959,000 Oct 2 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71284397 76 Marlborough Street U:4 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $840,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71283585 347 Commonwealth U:B 7 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Brownstone $2,400,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71283677 293-295 Commonwealth Avenue U:1C 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $499,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71283344 146 Marlborough St U:5 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $495,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71278281 14 Follen St U:1 3 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Rowhouse $849,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71274023 464-466 Commonwealth Ave. U:PH91 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $449,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71275188 338 Beacon Street U:6/7 6 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $1,190,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71267774 135 Marlborough Street U:8 4 room, 2 bed, 1 bath Other (See Remarks) $749,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71264529 80 Marlborough Street U:8 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $725,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71264788 501 Beacon St U:3 2 room, 0 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $299,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71259897 257 Marlborough Street U:11 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $824,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71290401 133 Commonwealth U:1 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $409,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
71255222 416 Marlborough U:501 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $669,000 Oct 2 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM
71248963 416 Marlborough St. U:202 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $475,000 Oct 2 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
71246875 285 Beacon Street U:3A 6 room, 3 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $999,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71239403 413 Beacon Street U:5 4 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Rowhouse $485,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71241126 416 Marlborough U:505 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $495,000 Oct 2 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM
71274483 24 Marlborough Street U:5 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $809,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71268680 1 Charles St S U:705 3 room, 1 bed, 1.5 bath Mid-Rise $725,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71231376 327 Beacon U:1 4 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath Townhouse $995,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71230491 133 Marlborough St U:10 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $499,900 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
71231065 313 Commonwealth Ave U:3 7 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Rowhouse $4,200,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
71226873 280 Beacon St U:2 5 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $449,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71226293 313 Commonwealth Ave U:1 7 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Rowhouse $2,875,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71216226 290 Commonwealth Ave U:15 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Mid-Rise $479,000 Oct 2 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
71215457 146 Marlborough Street U:7 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath Brownstone $493,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
71211897 340 Commonwealth Ave U:3 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Rowhouse $895,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71208914 285 Columbus Ave U:703 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $849,900 Oct 2 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM
71206431 416 Marlborough St U:702 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $640,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71198681 1 Charles Street South U:15H 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $1,549,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
71198814 192 Marlborough Street U:1 5 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Townhouse $2,999,000 Oct 2 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
71292449 242 Beacon St U:3 4 room, 2 bed, 1.5 bath Brownstone $799,000 Oct 2 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
71258949 285 Beacon Street U:4B 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Low-Rise $1,250,000 Oct 2 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
71059793 45 Commonwealth Avenue U:3 8 room, 3 bed, 3.5 bath Brownstone $4,450,000 Oct 2 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
71189322 373 marlborough st. U:1 6 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath Townhouse $1,095,000 Oct 1 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
70997544 285 Columbus Avenue U:208 4 room, 2 bed, 2 bath Mid-Rise $874,000 Oct 2 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Above, 483 Beacon Street, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. Bill Gehan of Campion & Company Fine Homes Real Estate is the listing agent.

Zillow: Downtown Boston home values rise in 2nd quarter
Aug 2011 10

Online real estate valuation company Zillow.com says that home values rose during the second quarter 2011 in many downtown ZIP codes, as well as in other Boston neighborhoods.

The Boston Business Journal has the details.

Demographically, they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, but Boston’s Beacon Hill and Mattapan neighborhoods do share something in common: They were both among the hottest housing markets in the state in the second quarter.

The BBJ has a cool interactive tool that you can use to plug in your town or city’s name or do it by ZIP code. Not all ZIP codes are available (no 02113-North End, for example) but 159 towns and cities are.

For ZIP code 02118, which is most of the South End and a bit of Roxbury, sales volume was off in the second quarter by 29% (!) but prices were up 3% from first to second quarter and 1% since last year at the same time.

The Zillow.com data is useful if you track it by quarter, but it does have some serious weaknesses.

As the BBJ points out: Zillow’s valuation data is based on all homes in a given market, and not just properties listed for sale or sold in a given period.

Boston real estate prices look to recover
Aug 2011 03

Based on the recent history of home sale prices, inventory level, unemployment rate, and number of “past-due” loans, it looks as though the Greater Boston real estate market is poised to recover over the coming months.

That’s one conclusion you can reach after reading the Wall Street Journal article, Sliding Sales Listings Lift Housing Outlook.

Past due loans were under 5% in Quarter 1 2007, rising to over 10% in Quarter 1 2010. It is around 8.7%, now.

Average home values dropped from around $370,000 in January 2007 to $320,000 in June 2010, pretty much steady for the past three years between 2008 and 2011.

Boston does much better than other metropolitan areas when it comes to inventory levels, year-on-year price changes (decreases), and unemployment rates.

Inventory level dropped almost 3% from a year ago, which means either more people are selling their homes or fewer people are listing their homes for sale. Prices have decreased by 3.6% this year, whereas other cities had drops from 3.9%-11.5% or higher.

The unemployment rate in the Greater Boston area is 7.4%, which is far lower than other major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta (10%), Charlotte (10.8%), and Denver (9.3%).

With a good economy comes opportunity, for both buyers and sellers of Boston real estate.

Image above from the Wall Street Journal, courtesy of Zillow.

Boston neighborhoods’ borders ill-defined
Jul 2011 19

Which Boston neighborhood do you live in? Are you sure?

The Boston Globe unravels the mystery of Boston’s neighborhoods’ borders in an article today.

It’s a common debate/discussion in the local real estate community. Real estate agents are accused of, at times expanding the borders (to give more appeal to listings) and shrinking them (to exclude things such as crime and blight). For instance, the South End’s borders are fluid and ill-defined. To agents, it’s often Massachusetts Ave used as the border to the west, except when they have listings on the other side and want to get buyers interested.

The historic record is little help since, as the Globe points out, much of Boston is made of landfill. You can look at old maps, but look to far back and all you’ll see is marshland. Many neighborhoods didn’t even exist before 1850.

Is Kenmore Square in Back Bay or The Fenway, or is it its own neighborhood? What about St. Botolph Street? Is it Back Bay or South End?

Another agent friend of mine had a client who called him up after closing on a condo purchase on Mass Ave. He had just received his first mail at his new address, and the label said, “Mass Ave, Roxbury, Massachusetts”. He freaked out, “I don’t live in Roxbury, do I??”

One answer was, “Yes.” Another was, “No.” The third was, “Why does it matter?”

But, of course, to some it does. A lot. Buying a home means you’re investing not just in a property but in a neighborhood, in the city. A lot of money is riding on your choice, both when you buy and when you sell. Perception is not the same as reality.

For me, I’ve used “South End” and “Roxbury” at different times for the area between Mass Ave and Melnea Cass Blvd. Roxbury doesn’t always work because I think of that as Dudley Square and points around there. I went to Northeastern University in the 1980′s and we always considered the school to be in the Fenway. Since then, they’ve invested millions in development that’s turned the campus around from Huntington to Tremont and Columbus, and now it’s as much a part of Roxbury as the other neighborhoods.

So, I don’t know.

Image above from the Boston Public Library‘s flickr photo stream.

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