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Want to be a Cambridge landlord? Join the club!

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 11, 2013 09:24 AM

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The People's Republic apparently has no lack of budding capitalists.

If you want to buy a small rental property in Cambridge and in the hipper parts of Somerville, better take a ticket and get in line.

There are just a handful of these starter-landlord properties for sale in Cambridge, with couples looking for a little extra income competing with real estate investors and contractors, who are snapping up two and three unit multis in all cash deals.

Here's an excerpt from my weekly column in Banker & Tradesman, in which I take a look at dwindling listings for multifamily properties in Cambridge, Somerville and Medford.

OK, here I am in B&T mode:

There were just four multifamily properties on the market last week in the entire city of Cambridge, with sales on another five pending but not yet closed, according to online real estate broker Redfin.

The market for rental properties in Cambridge and in surrounding communities is back with a vengeance, eating up inventory and driving up prices in what is likely a harbinger for a wider comeback across the Boston area and the state.

And driving this interest is a combination of professionals looking to make a little money on the side and contractors and professional investors eager to cash in on soaring rents and rising condo prices.

"It's beyond anemic," noted said Alex Coon, market manager for the Boston area office of Redfin. "It's almost to the point where people are walking around and knocking on doors, asking people if they want to sell their multis."

Here are some other stats from my piece:

  • Cambridge multifamily properties on average are selling in 32 days.
  • Of 51 multifamily properties sold in Cambridge over the past six months, all but 16 sold for more than the listing price.
  • The price of a two-family in Cambridge hit $713,000 in 2012, up from $660,000 in 2011, according to B&T's publisher, The Warren Group.

Are you ready to be a landlord? Are you trying to buy a multifamily in Cambridge or Somerville? Is Cambridge overrated?


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

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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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