"Greater Boston" is a tremendously diverse area, and the definition of what it includes varies from person to person. Specifically in the Dorchester area, the market will be a little softer than it was in 2005 & 2006 because the speculation by developers that the neighborhood would keep growing like it had is over for now. You will see neighborhoods like Jamaica Plain benefit from this turn-around a little. I would say the market for Somerville is going to stay pretty close to what it was this past year. Multi-families will not have the competition from as many developers who want to convert them to condos, but still remain a decent option for some owner-occupants. Condos will always be strong in our market here, because they are the most cost-effective way for young adults to stay close to their workplace downtown. With the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Brookline and Cambridge condo markets doing so well this past year, and looking strong for next year, it seems like Somerville, Allston/Brighton, and Jamaica Plain might be the only place where first-time home buyers can find suitable property. At the end of the day, nothing beats the advice you'll get from a contracted Buyer's Agent though, so please sit down with someone to get the specific information that relates to your needs.
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Dorchester is an area I can speak onf - It's seen alot of foreclosures in the past year, and there are more on the way. As the Winter goes on, prices will continue to reflect the influence of the foreclosures on the market.
There is no way to avoid it...
What a great time to buy, though...Interest rates are so low - It's very unusual when interest rates are low & prices are low at the same time.
There are areas of Dorchester that will be less affected than other areas, Dorchester is huge. If there is an area you are interested in, keep an eye out for foreclosures in that area, and prepare to jump on them. This is
going to be a great R.E. year in Dorchester! Best of Luck!