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Boston prices soar as suburbs lag

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 2, 2013 07:23 AM

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When it comes to rising prices, the Hub is smoking the suburbs.

Home and condo prices in Greater Boston's suburbs rose a solid 6.1 percent over the first five months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, real estate portal Trulia reports.

But Boston home and condo prices blew that number away, rising 10.1 percent during the same period.

While price increases in the cities are outpacing the suburbs around the country, Boston is in a league of its own, right along with New York, where prices are also on a tear.

"The difference makes it among the biggest gaps in the country," Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist, commented in an email.

Yet despite or maybe because of the rising city prices, the suburbs are seeing markedly faster population growth.

While urban areas saw their overall population rise by .36 percent, the suburbs grew much faster, by .56 percent, Trulia reports.

Leading the upward charge in prices are "high-rise neighborhoods," as well as ethnically diverse neighborhood and zip codes with a significant percentage of same sex couples.

Needless to say, such diversity is for the most part the monopoly of urban areas right now - a pattern particularly evident in Greater Boston. Our suburbs, for the most part, are the opposite of diverse.

Neighborhoods where no particular ethnic or racial group makes up the majority saw prices rise 14.3 percent. And in neighborhoods where same-sex couples account for more than 1 percent, prices rose a staggering 16.5 percent.

It does make you wonder whether the cities and suburbs are getting ready to change places now, with rising urban prices pushing anyone who can't afford elevated prices and rents into the suburbs.

What's your take?

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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