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The elusive Cambridge single family home

Despite the fact that many Bostonians think of Cambridge as a suburb, we are, in fact, a city. And like most cities, the bulk of our housing is in multifamily properties, whether they be small, 2-3 unit homes, or larger apartment or condo buildings. In fact, according to the City of Cambridge, in 2016, single family homes comprised only 7.2% of our total housing inventory. Since TOTAL housing units is somewhere around 53,000, that means we only have something like 3,800 single family homes.

And sadly… most of these homes are NOT for sale.

So as you can imagine, in a real estate market as hot as ours, single family homes are in high demand, especially at the “lower” price points, and really anything up to about $1.5M. Looking for something closer to $500,000? Probably not going to happen.

If you take a look at my very Seussian-looking chart below, you will notice a couple things right away…

First, the total number of single family homes sold has been on a mostly downward trend in recent years, from a high of 145 units in 2013, down to a measly 97 homes last year.

Second, the blue band at the bottom of the bars, which represents homes selling under $500k, is practically invisible for 2016. That’s because there was only ONE home that sold for under a half million dollars last year in all of Cambridge. Just five years ago in 2012, there were a *whopping* 16 sold at this price point.


Cambridge 5-year home sales

So, I am very happy to be listing –together with my colleague Dino Confalone– an adorable single family cottage in East Cambridge this week. And guess what? It’s going to list at UNDER a million dollars! $739,000 to be exact. Check out my post announcing this great listing…


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