They say that numbers do not lie. In the case of real estate market trends in Cambridge, MA, it just may be the best time to put your real estate property up for sale. For buyers, however, it is a tricky time, but it does not mean it is not an option. Some research and a little bit of know-how can definitely help if you are not going to sell, but you want to buy instead.
Why Home Prices in Cambridge, MA are on the Rise
Cambridge has always been viewed as a top academic enclave for hundreds of years and is now considered as one of the most expensive places to buy a house in the state of Massachusetts. Perhaps one of the reasons why the home prices are rising is because of the expanding universities in Cambridge.
Just across the Charles River from the state’s capital, Boston, Cambridge is a proud home to the world-renowned Harvard University. On the other end of the city, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT can be found. Although Cambridge has been around since the 17th century, it remains to be a youthful and modern city mainly because of the influx of young professionals and of course, the university students.
The city of Cambridge has a small population of barely 100,000, but statistics say it is one of the places in the United States where the most affluent young people are situated. According to real estate experts, the international appeal of Cambridge has a positive effect on its housing market. Americans want to live in the city as well as those from European and Asian countries. Many of those who are hunting for a house, apartment, or condo in Cambridge are parents who want to purchase a place for their kids to stay. These parents choose to buy over renting because the latter is much higher even though prices of houses have been steadily rising.
How Much are the Houses in Cambridge?
Residential properties in Cambridge are among the highest in the whole country. The city has actually outpaced markets, including Chicago and Miami. Take a look at these numbers as provided by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors:
- In 2015, the median price of houses reached over $1.33 million.
- The 2015 median price was up 5.9% compared to the previous year.
- It was also up 55% over a period of five years.
- In 2016, the median price of a single family unit in the city hit $1,675,000.
- The 2016 median price was during the first four months of that year.
- It was 28% higher than 2015.
This year, the numbers a little lower with the median list price of $910,000 but it was up from $909,000 earlier in 2017. It is more than 15% lower compared to last year, but the houses are selling faster than in 2016. This signals the property sellers to start listing their real estate right now and get a chance to find the right buyer quickly.
Last year, some homes were priced at more than $1,375,000, but this year, the most expensive houses range from $1,031,000 to $1,375,000. However, it is expected that the real estate prices in the city will soon rise again despite the coming winter season.
Why It’s Time to Sell Your Real Estate in Cambridge
If you have been waiting for a chance to sell your home in Cambridge, the market trends are sending positive signals your way. Whether it is a condo unit, a multi-family unit, or a single family unit, you do not have to wait, especially if you want to get the chance to win some interested buyers.
Right now, it is estimated that the condo units for sale in the city are around 130 and up. If you are planning to sell a condo, the competition may be tough. However, you should not pass up on the opportunity because the average listing price of condos is climbing to $947,162. Additionally, the highest list price is around $4,900,000.
As for a multi-family unit, you have less competition here because there are just about 30 properties that are generally up for sale during this time of the year. Nevertheless, you can find that the average listing price for a multi-family unit is around $1,804,000+. The highest list price is usually over $5,500,000.
Meanwhile, for single-family homes, it is definitely a great time to put such property up for sale. More and more people are looking into this kind of unit. However, the inventory is a bit low with only 25 properties or fewer this season. This may be the best time to sell your home not only because of the not-so-tough competition but also the average listing price may continue to soar to $2,360,000+. Currently, there are homes that are priced at over $7,800,000.
Real Estate Market in Cambridge Will Continue to Hike Up
If you are worried about selling because you think the rise of prices is just temporary, you will be glad to know that this increase is predicted to continue. With the strengthening economy due to the pharmaceuticals industry and the technology sector, Cambridge real estate will keep getting more robust.
The industries mentioned are bringing in high-paying jobs and skilled workers to the city, which have become a huge help in driving home sales. Additionally, Harvard and MIT have expanded their research facilities, which also adds to a workforce looking for housing.
What the Rise in Prices Mean for Homebuyers
Of course, no one wants to buy a really expensive house, especially if there are more affordable properties that can be purchased. However, those who really want to live in the city, particularly those who may be studying in Harvard or MIT or those who would be working at big-time companies in Cambridge, should seize this opportunity.
The truth is that the property market in the city of Cambridge lacks in stocks. It may be seen as a big hurdle for buyers because there are almost not enough choices available. In fact, it is estimated that the city, in general, has less than a month’s supply of properties for sale. Real estate economists in the country believe that a balanced market between sellers and buyers need at least a six month-stock of housing.
With the tight numbers in the housing market in Cambridge, buyers are eager to quickly make a purchase, especially if they want to grab a good deal out of the middle and upper end of the housing market. Due to the lack of supply of housing and there are no new products coming, buyers should always be on the lookout for choices on their potential home.
These days, the northern part of the city is one of the places that attract the most number of buyers. North Cambridge is close to Kendall Square, Arlington, and Belmont. If you are a buyer, this part of the city may be where you want to look first. On the other hand, if you are a seller and you have your property situated in North Cambridge, it is definitely a good time to sell.
What about Condos and Rental Properties?
The condominium market in the city of Cambridge is appealing to many investors. Currently, the condo units are selling quite high in the market – higher than in many other parts of the state. Buyers are generally interested in buying a condominium property as investment more than for residential purposes. This is because they are seeing strong returns, which make these condos in this part of the state a really sound investment. Here are some stats:
- In 2015, the median price of a condominium was around $625,000.
- The number was a 47% increase since the year 2010.
- The rent prices went up in the same period, especially in the popular Harvard University and MIT areas with the median rents up 35% in 2015.
This year, the average rent is $2,973 as of the month of August. There was a small 1% decrease compared to the rent prices in 2016 when it was a little over $3,000 on average. However, there is actually a 0.17% increase compared to July when the average rent was around $2,968. Apartments with one bedroom rent for an average of $2,645 per month, which is actually almost 1% higher compared to last year in the same period. Meanwhile, two bedroom apartments rent for an average of $3,312.
The median list price for every square foot in the Cambridge is $719, and this amount is relatively higher than the average of the Boston Metro, which is $267. With the rise in home values over the past few years, Cambridge is predicted to continue rising in prices next year.
Based on the sale-to-list price ratio, the duration of the houses on sale on the market, and the prevalence of price reductions on the home listings, the market temperature in Cambridge is very hot. This is especially true for the sellers in the area. If you would like to sell a property in the city of Cambridge, it may be a good decision for you.