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Are the bargains gone?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis September 6, 2012 07:38 AM

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Home sellers are getting more confident. Or at least they are raising their expectations.

Asking prices jumped 2.3 percent across the country in August, Trulia notes in its latest monthly price and rent report. When foreclosures are taken out of the equation, that number increases to 3.8 percent.

It is the biggest year-over-year increase since the good old days before the Great Recession!

Greater Boston asking prices are rising as well, though at a somewhat slower place, jumping 1.7 percent in August.

Still, Boston area home prices never saw the massive declines that markets like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas experienced after the real estate bubble burst, so the increases, while smaller, are nevertheless significant.

In fact, the days of bargain hunting appear long gone now in the Hub and its suburbs.

Just take a look at year-to-date sale prices in the many neighborhoods that make up Boston proper.

Only Mattapan, Allston and Roslindale bucked the trend, with prices up in August in Charlestown, South Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, East Boston, Brighton and Dorchester, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. Median sale prices range from $637,500 in Charlestown to $256,000 in Dorchester.

Meanwhile, condo prices in downtown Boston - including Back Bay, South End, North End, Beacon Hill and the Fenway - are positively soaring.

The median downtown condo price hit $515,000 in the second quarter, according to Boston condo market tracker LINK, surpassing the previous high of $498,000 reached in 2008, just before the global market meltdown that fall, the Globe reports.

The number of units sold was up 36 percent as well.

So have all the bargains been scooped up? What is a poor buyer to do?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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