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In Cambridge, a crazy lack of inventory?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 16, 2013 11:00 AM

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If you want to live in Cambridge, take a ticket and get in line. You may be house hunting for a while.

While there is a never ending supply of buyers hoping to land a condo or even a house in Cambridge, there's a shortage of sellers, who are getting to be as rare now, rather sadly, as bookstores in Harvard Square.

In fact, an already tight inventory situation has gotten rather extreme, with just 158 homes and condos for sale right now in Cambridge, according to Redfin.

That's down from 229 back in April, at the height of the spring market.

But the really shocking comparison is with May 2011, when 419 homes and condos were up for grabs in Cambridge. That's a more than 60 percent plunge in less than two years, the online brokerage reports.

And what's still on the market looks pretty expensive, including what appears to be a bevy of yet to be built condos and homes.

Home prices rose 8.1 percent, in the year ending November, to median price of $807,000, according to the Warren Group. Condo prices bumped up 4.2 percent, to $434,500.

Buyers are ready to pay up for Cambridge in a way they won't do for other places.

"For a lot of people, Somerville won't do," one broker told me earlier this morning. (Sorry, hate to do this, but I'd rather not name him/her thanks to a couple of bad apples on the comment board.) "It is not just the name brand, but the whole experience that comes with it."

Now I guess it would be kind of cool to live in Cambridge, but my honey and I don't have the kind of bucks it would take to get a decent place in the city, even if there was one available. I'll be stuck paying off my Natick fixer-upper for years to come.

Do you dream of living in Cambridge? Would you pay up - even overpay - to live there?


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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