How condo prices stack up between Cambridge & Somerville

It used to be that when priced out of Cambridge, condo buyers could go to Somerville, but over the years, “The ‘Ville” has become more and more popular, and the prices have been going up and up.


It’s hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison of prices city-wide, since the closer a home is to the T, the higher its market value. Obviously, Cambridge has an edge here, with more condos close to train stations than Somerville has. This skews the averages so it’s no surprise that Cambridge condos are, on average, more expensive than those in Somerville. A few examples:


City-wide 2016 average list and sale prices for a 1-bed, 1-bath condo without parking


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City-wide 2016 average list and sale prices for a 2-bed, 1-bath condo with 1 parking space


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City-wide 2016 average list and sale prices for a 3-bed, 1.5+ bath condo with 1 or more parking spaces


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As you can see, for all these scenarios, average prices for condos across Cambridge are still markedly more expensive than comparable units in Somerville. HOWEVER, if you look at the prices of condos located around the two Red Line stations that straddle the line between cities (Porter and Davis), things look a bit different…


Porter 2016 average list and sale prices for a 1-bed, 1-bath condo without parking


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Davis 2016 average list and sale prices for a 1-bed, 1-bath condo without parking


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Yes, that’s right — 2016 average prices for 1-bed, 1-bath, no parking units in Porter and Davis were higher on the Somerville side. My caveat is that the sample size is small, and probably not really statistically relevant (only 7 total sales in Porter and 5 in Davis). Still interesting.


Here are the rest of the numbers I looked at…


Porter 2016 average list and sale prices for a 2-bed, 1-bath condo with 1 parking space


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Davis 2016 average list and sale prices for a 2-bed, 1-bath condo with 1 parking space


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Again, a small sampling with only 6 Porter units and 12 in Davis, but Somerville averages higher for these units too.


Porter 2016 average list and sale prices for a 3-bed, 1.5+ bath condo with 1 or more parking spaces


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Davis 2016 average list and sale prices for a 3-bed, 1.5+ bath condo with 1 or more parking spaces


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Okay, so the Porter three-beds are bucking the trend here, but the Somerville prices are again higher in Davis.


As I hope I clearly qualified, the sample sizes here are too small to be really meaningful, BUT if nothing else, they show that we should not discount Somerville.


As an aside, it’s good to be aware of how the two cities’ taxes play into monthly expenses and affordability, because that is one area where Cambridge is definitely less expensive — I covered this topic in another post from 2015.

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