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Don't bet against Dot!

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 17, 2014 09:25 AM

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Boston's largest neighborhood, Dorchester has long been one of the Hub's most affordable places to live as well.

It has one of the largest collections of Victorians anywhere in the Boston area, as well as being home to the ubiquitous triple-decker.

Frankly, it's not just one neighborhood, but a collection of mini neighborhoods, such as Andrew Square next door to South Boston, Savin Hill, Fields Corner, Meetinghouse Hill, Codman Square, among others.

Better yet, it is probably one of Boston's most diverse neighborhoods, home to 100,000 of the city's 636,000-plus residents.

But as prices rise, is Dorchester set to follow the lead of South Boston, which been transformed by a wave of development and rising prices?

Not surprisingly, home buyers appear to be ignoring the French consul general's boneheaded advice to tourists from the home country to avoid Dorchester, citing concerns about crime.

Thanks for the heads up, Fabien!

The median price of a condo in Dorchester is now $285,000, up nearly 30 percent, while single-family home prices are up 24 percent, to $332,500, Warren Group stats show.

Certainly prices in neighboring Southie are out of control, with the median price of a single family home having hit $517,000, up 17 percent through November, while condo prices jumped 11 percent during the same period, to $446,000, The Warren Group reports.

Younger buyers are getting priced out of Southie and Dorchester seems logical to emerge as a less expensive alternative, noted WRX on the comment board of this blog.

What about Dorchester? Besides the obvious crime, is this the next "Southie?" Southie is starting to get too expensive for the typical new-resident (twenty something just out of college). I would think the next hood over would start to attract that kind of crowd.

Or, for that matter, is Dorchester the next JP? Jamaica Plain is fast morphing into a hipster hotspot, with a median home price of $567,000, up 27 percent in 2013 through November.

Here's what jimbloke, a regular on the comment board of this blog, who has fond memories of his time living in Dorchester's Andrew Square.

I think Dorchester is going to be the next JP... i still love and miss living near Andrew Sq.

On the crime issue, Globe columnist Kevin Cullen offers takes on the French consul's dumb advice to steer clear of Dorchester, which amounts to calling almost a fifth of Boston off-limits. Apparently, he also warned French tourists to avoid Roxbury and Mattapan as well.

Too bad, I'd think the JFK Library out on Columbia Point would have been a favorite for French tourists.

Hey, but I guess its better to be safe than sorry, especially with all the foreign tourists that have been gunned down on the streets of Boston over the past few years. (I'm kidding obviously, but can you think of any case of a tourist getting shot while walking around Boston?)

No neighborhood has a monopoly on crime and frankly Dorchester is a collection of mini neighborhoods, each with its own personality and in some cases, challenges as well.

So is Dorchester next real estate hotspot in the making? Don't bet against Dot.

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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