Real Estate Today: JP is hot seller’s market

September 28, 2012
By

(Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira) The least expensive property on sale in JP is a $159,900 condo in this building at 406 Centre St.

The Jamaica Plain real estate market can be described in one word: “hot.”

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Sales Manager Paul Melanson told the Gazette that JP is a seller’s market right now, with every listing receiving multiple offers and usually being sold at a higher price than the asking price.

“We’ve seen a complete stabilization” from the real estate upheaval a few years ago, he said. “The market is really good.”

With a very small to nonexistent inventory, Melanson added, “everything that does come in just flies off the shelf.”

Real estate agent B.J. Ray compared the Jamaica Plain market to a restaurant with “exceptional food even though the portions are small.”

“There’s not a lot of inventory, but people still want to flood in,” Ray said.

Karen McCormack, owner of McCormack & Scanlan Real Estate, agreed.

“Definitely, inventory is lower than what the demand is, from starting low-end condos to upgraded condos or single-family homes,” which makes for a strong seller’s market, especially with interest rates staying low, she said.

According to data provided to the Gazette by Melanson, in 2011, the average sale price for a condo was a little over $354,000, following an average of 84 days on the market—nearly three months.

So far this year, the average price is a little over $366,000, after 64 days on the market. This year has already seen 300 condo sales in JP, compared to 229 in the whole of 2011.

The rental market, meanwhile, is shifting.

During the housing crisis, many people chose to rent instead of buying, depleting stock, a shift that McCormack is still noticing. She said that the number of available rental properties “feels lower” than it has in the last few years.

But her impression is that people “might be trying to segue into the sales market for something at a reasonable price.”

The single-family home market is also in good shape. According to Melanson’s data, 2012 has already seen a 51.5 percent increase in sales over the whole of last year, with no signs of slowing down for the winter, McCormack added.

While the average price has dropped about 2 percent from last year, the median price has gone up 2.5 percent. That means fewer higher-priced houses and more moderately-priced homes are being sold. The average sale price for a single-family home in 2012 so far is $533,000.

Last week, the least expensive property available for sale in JP was a one-bedroom condo at 406 Centre St. in Hyde Square. The unit, listed as needing a “complete renovation including heating unit,” was priced at $159,900.

The most expensive property for sale, meanwhile, was a luxury townhouse at 214 Allandale St. in Jamaica Hills. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom unit is in a gated community and includes a chef’s kitchen with skylight, wrap-around back deck and custom shelving in the library and living room.

“You’re still getting a better value” in JP as compared to the Back Bay, South End or Somerville, Ray said. “JP has clearly shown itself to be one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Boston.”

“We have so many things going for us, with acres of green space, amenities for bike riders, walking, hospitals, universities,” and easy public transportation, McCormack said. “We have so many different potential buyers for JP that even Roslindale and West Roxbury” get a bump from JP-oriented business, she said.

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