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Boston home sale prices rose by lowest level in a decade

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Neighborhood Development

Creating more access to homeownership opportunities is one of the goals of Mayor Walsh’s comprehensive housing policy for Boston.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that an analysis of home sale prices recorded in Boston in 2019 showed a year-over-year increase of three percent when compared to year-end data for 2018, marking the lowest year over year increase in the past decade. Condominium sales prices showed no increase at all, and single-family homes increased by one percent. 

“Our housing plan is centered on prioritizing housing security, stability and affordability for our residents,” said Mayor Walsh. “We’re doing everything in our power to give residents access to affordable housing opportunities. I’m proud of the progress we’re making, and look forward to generating further access to homeownership opportunities for Bostonians. I know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue our work to lift up all residents in Boston.” 

Creating more access to homeownership opportunities is one of the goals of Mayor Walsh’s comprehensive housing policy for Boston, Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030.

Mayor Walsh has also pledged to dedicate $500 million over the next five years to create thousands of homes across Boston affordable to households with low- to middle-incomes. 

In 2019, one in four units of new housing permitted in the City of Boston was below market rate and deed-restricted, according to a recent analysis of year-end housing permit data. Boston awarded $65 million in funding to create 1,046 new income-restricted units and to preserve 64 existing affordable units. In addition, 1,216 income-restricted units were approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency through the Article 80 process, bringing the active affordable housing pipeline to 4,714 units. Along with the 6,309 units permitted through the end of 2019, the City has 11,029 affordable units that are complete, in construction or underway, reaching 70 percent of the City’s 15,820-unit target for 2030. 

“The latest data makes it clear that the city’s effort to expand housing supply is reducing pressure on home prices,” said Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), a quasi-public organization that finances multifamily apartments and affordable homeownership. “Boston sets an example that all communities should follow. We’ve financed thousands of affordable homes in Boston with the city’s support and are ready to do much more in conjunction with Mayor Walsh’s pledge of an additional $500 million for affordable housing.

  • 5,391 condominium sales (70 percent of all sales), marking a six percent decrease since 2018.
  • 1,217 single family home sales (16 percent of all sales), marking an eight percent decrease since 2018.
  • 530 two-family home sales (7 percent of all sales), marking a ten percent decrease since 2018.
  • 542 three-family home sales (7 percent of all sales), marking a six percent decrease since 2018.

"Mayor Walsh has made a historic commitment to expand the resources available for affordable housing and affordable homeownership," said Tom Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. "Boston's first-time home buyers will benefit by being able to stay in the city and build wealth. MAHA looks forward to continuing to partner with the Mayor and the City on expanding housing opportunities!"

Since Mayor Walsh took office in 2014, the City of Boston has built more than 60 percent of all new homes in Greater Boston, with 20 percent of them deed-restricted for low- and middle-income households. Boston has surpassed 32,000 units permitted under the administration's housing plan, including more than 6,200 deed-restricted units and 500 units for senior housing. 

Through increases in the City's operating and capital budgets, the $500 million investment announced in the Mayor's State of the City address will double the City's current funding in affordable housing to $100 million. Additional revenue will be generated by selling the Lafayette Garage, as well as working with the Massachusetts Legislature to approve a transfer fee of up to two percent on private real estate sales over $2 million in the City of Boston. These combined investments will increase the available funds for affordable housing to five times current funding levels over the next five years.

Residents interested in purchasing a home in the City of Boston are encouraged to attend the City of Boston's 2020 Housing Expo, a day-long series of workshops where participants will learn about the steps involved in purchasing a home, the mortgage process, the impact of credit, the true cost of homeownership and more. The workshops are free and open to anyone to attend, with advanced registration required. Participants will meet with a number of lenders, realtors, homebuyer and homeowner vendors, and city departments who will provide information and answer questions. The Housing Expo will be held on Saturday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.