Although home prices are increasing much faster than incomes all over the U.S. and the pace of growth is cause for worry in many parts of the country, some areas exhibit such rapid growth that they simply stand in a league of their own. And certain zip codes in Boston, MA definitely do just that.* These zip codes act like complete outliers, with property prices here having doubled in five years, or even less.
Despite the recent turn of events, with the Boston housing market starting to favor buyers instead of sellers, one fact remains: zip codes 02120, 02125, and 02128 have seen their median home price more than double since 2014.
To rank the 29 Boston zip codes and discover the areas that are growing the fastest, we analyzed data from sister division PropertyShark, looking at median sale prices and number of sales in 2014 and 2019. Here are some key findings:
- In three zip codes, the net increase alone is more than the median home price used to be in 2014. In zip codes 02120, 02125, and 02128, home prices went up a whopping 127%, 108%, and 105%.
- Nine zip codes saw home price increases between 50% and 99%, and twelve more noted jumps between 25% and 49%.
- Despite fluctuations, nine zip codes currently have median home prices above $1,000,000, and zip 02199 remains the most expensive, with home prices over $3,000,000.
- Zip code 02108 is one of only two areas that witnessed a decrease in median home prices, going from $1,495,000 to $1,400,000, a 6% drop.
- The other zip code where median home prices slumped, and by quite an impressive margin, is 02199; here, home prices recorded a 31% decrease, going from $5,350,000 in 2014 to $3,668,560 in 2019. However, this zip code is an evident outlier, with only 3 transactions in 2019.
Although the Boston housing market is slowly shifting, starting to favor buyers instead of sellers, there is no denying home prices have been increasing at breakneck speed. Some analysts are even saying that the slowdown the market experienced toward the end of 2019 is simply a ‘correction or a rebalancing’ and not an actual decline.
Also, after years of sustained growth, the stagnating home prices and sales toward the end of 2019 haven’t managed to put a more significant dent in price evolution. Case in point, zooming out and analyzing the macro-trends, 12 out of Boston’s 29 zip codes recorded home price increases over 50%, three of which more than doubled their value in 5 years or less.
Condo Median Price Up 190% in Zip Code 02126 in Just 5 Years
- The median condo price in Boston jumped 35% since 2014, from $519,450 to $700,000.
- Zip code 02126 saw a staggering 190% increase in median condo price, while zip 02199 witnessed the only drop in the list – 31%.
- Zip code 02199 had only three sales, and it remains the most expensive area in the city, with a mind-blowing $3,668,560 median price.
- There are six zip codes where the median condo price is over $1,000,000.
- Zip 02121 is the least expensive, with a median of $194,250, followed by twelve more zip codes where condo prices are below $500,000.
- When it comes to the number of sales, the outliers are zip codes 02120 (only 10 sales in 2019), 02121 (5 sales), 02467 (4 sales), and 02199 (3 sales).
Located in the Boston metro area, zip code 02126 remains one of the cheaper areas for condos, but the 190% increase it witnessed in the short span of 5 years puts Mattapan on a rapidly ascending path. Aside from a slight hiccup in 2015, when prices for both condos and single-family homes decreased, the neighborhood’s housing market has kept going up, crossing the $500,000 mark. The condo market here is cheaper, but it’s fast approaching the $400,000 mark.
Zip code 02122 saw the second-biggest jump in median condo price, but at 68%, it’s nowhere near as spectacular as 02126. Three other zip codes recorded increases over 50%: 02128, 02119, and 02125.
When it comes to the most expensive condo markets, zip code 02199 is simply in a league of its own, with a median close to $3.7 million. Six other zip codes boast median condo prices over $1,000,000.
Single-Family Segment Sees 39% Increase, Zip Code 02125 Leads the Way with 87% Jump
- The median single-family price in Boston went up 39% in 5 years, from $468,000 to $650,000.
- Zip code 02125 stole the spotlight with an 87% increase in median price for a single-family home, while 02108’s median decreased 23%.
- 02115 is Boston’s most expensive zip code for single-family homes, with a median over $4,000,000, followed by 02109, 02118, and 02116 with medians over $3,000,000. Zip codes 02114 and 02108 boast medians over $2,500,000.
- Boston’s cheapest zip codes for single-family properties are 02126 and 02136, both boasting medians under $500,000, despite significant 5-year increases.
Though still significant, the price jumps for single-family houses in Boston were not as notable as condo price increases. Also, it was the zip codes priced below the city median and the lower-priced areas that saw the sharpest increases in the 5-year time frame.
Zip code 02125 leads the way with an 87% growth, followed by 8 more zip codes where single-family medians increased more than 50% in 5 years.
In the case of condos, the zip codes closest to CBD and downtown saw the highest numbers of sales, despite the dramatically higher prices. This could be seen as proof that people would do almost anything to avoid the “horrid commutes” that are plaguing city life.
In the case of single-family homes, however, a higher number of sales close to downtown is the exception, not the rule. If location remains the key factor for condo buyers, affordability is the main concern for house seekers.
To determine which zip codes saw the most significant price increases, we analyzed home prices and sales in 2014 (January 1st to December 31st) and 2019 (January 1st to December 31st). We analyzed price evolution and transactions data on condos, single-family, and 2-4-family houses. The breakdowns for median prices for condos and single-family houses were also sourced from PropertyShark.
We took into consideration all zip codes, regardless of the number of transactions. The zip codes where there were fewer than 10 sales in 2014 or 2019 are provided with explanations as to why they are outliers.
Note: *A previous version of the article claimed that home prices doubling every ten years or so could be considered a rule of thumb not just in the States, but in many other markets in the world. This statement, however, upon more careful consideration, was dismissed as an exaggeration.
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