Posts tagged Boston real estate
Public Transportation and Real Estate Prices - Are They Linked?

It is no secret that cities across the country are facing transportation challenges as urban populations grow and Boston is no exception. According to a recent Boston.com article, “Governor Charlie Baker has proposed an $18 billion transportation bond bill that would help fund the T’s 13-year maintenance backlog, as well as expansion efforts.” This is just one effort among many to get Greater Boston’s public transportation to serve more people more efficiently and reliably so less people have to rely on driving in increasingly heavy commuter traffic.

So, what effect, if any, will Boston’s transportation difficulties have on the real estate market?

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Boston's Housing Crisis Is Attracting Investors

Boston is facing a major housing crisis due to the lack of housing supply. Rents are on the rise not just in Boston, but in the suburbs around Boston as well and vacancy rates are around 3%. While it is a bad situation for renters in the area, investors from all around the country are looking to take advantage of the market by purchasing multifamily properties. To read more, click here.

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Can Millennials Afford Homes?

Millennials are in quite a different position than their parents and grandparents were when it comes to the prospect of buying a home. A recent report showed that in 1975, it took 9 years for someone earning the median salary to save up for a 20% down payment on a home (assuming they saved 5% of their income per year) and now it takes 14 years. This change is even more extreme in well-known cities across the US - 43 years in Los Angeles, 40 years in San Francisco, 36 years in New York, and 30 years in Boston. There are many reasons why this is the case such as a scarcity of housing and restrictive zoning laws. To read more, check out this article that summarizes Unisom’s report about the increasing gap between income and real estate prices.

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The Problem with Boston's Zoning Approval Process

If you ask any developer in Boston what they think of the zoning approval process, I would guess that one of their first comments would be about how “political” it can be. A recent report by researcher Amy Dain looked at the zoning laws of 100 communities around Boston and found that “over a two-year period from 2015 to 2017, only 14% of multifamily units in the greater Boston communities Dain studied were permitted "by right".” That means the other 86% of projects were subject to the discretion of zoning boards - zoning boards that are often influenced by local politics. For a quick overview of the report’s findings, check out this article. For the full report, click here.

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Where Are First-Time Homeowners Buying in Boston?

Many are saying that there already is and will continue to be a wave of first-time homeowners looking to plant some roots in Boston. The economy is diverse and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to live in the city of champions? But a bustling economy comes with a competitive real estate market and homes are often selling above the asking price. Check out this article to see what neighborhoods in and around Boston first-time homeowners are looking to buy.

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Solutions to Boston's Housing Shortage

As many people living in and around Boston are aware, there just doesn’t seem to be enough housing to accommodate all the professionals, students, families, and longtime locals that live here. While it’s easy for all of us to get frustrated with increasing costs of housing and the seemingly shortage of it, we should all take a second to read what local officials, zoning boards, developers, activists, and private institutions are already doing to address this issue. This article summarizes a few solutions already underway.

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