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Provincetown And Boston Gains Compared To Top 10 Metros

I always find it interesting to see the differences in home values across the country. In Boston and Provincetown we are in solid real estate markets with values substantially above the national average. In Boston, including all neighborhoods the median price of single family homes sold through Q2 was $364K, up 3% from last years $353K. In Provincetown the median sales price for a single family homes sold year to date through Q2 was $675K, up 15% from $586K  last year. (I don’t always use median prices for comparison but since this report does I wanted to compare apples to apples.) The post below illustrates pretty mediocre northeast performance compared to these gains we have seen in Boston and Provincetown.

See Inman post below.

Top 10 metros for median price gains


NAR: Prices up from a year ago in 110 of 147 metros


Inman News

Median home prices for single-family homes posted year-over-year gains in 110 out of 147 markets tracked by the National Association of Realtors during the second quarter, compared with 74 markets that saw annual appreciation during the first quarter. Some of the improvement in prices is due to a smaller share of sales in low price ranges where inventory is tight said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

But Yun predicted even more markets would post gains in the quarters ahead, which will improve the equity position of existing homeowners, many of whom owe more on their mortgages than their home is worth.

At the national level, the median sale price of existing single-family homes during the second quarter was up 7.3 percent from a year ago, to $181,500. That’s the biggest annual increase in six years, but still left the national median home price down 20.1 percent from the 2006 peak.

Nearly 1 in 4 markets tracked by NAR (34) saw annual price declines. Seven of the 10 markets experiencing the biggest declines were in the Northeast.

The Northeast region saw median home prices fall 1.6 percent from a year ago, to $241,300.

Metropolitan area Median price, Q2 2011 Median price, Q2 2012 Change from year ago
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
Edison, N.J.
Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss.
Elmira, N.Y.
Atlantic City, N.J.
Pittsfield, Mass.
Charleston, W.Va.
Green Bay, Wis.
Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.


Source: National Association of Realtors

Among markets seeing the strongest annual price appreciation, many experienced sharp declines at the beginning of the downturn, including Detroit, Phoenix and Fort Myers, Fla. In all but one of the 10 markets showing the biggest year-over-year gains, the median sales price was well below the national median.

Top 10 markets for median price gains


Metropolitan area Median price, Q2 2011 Median price, Q2 2012 Change from year ago
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
Florence, S.C.
Akron, Ohio
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Bismarck, N.D.
Cumberland, Md.-W.Va.
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
Peoria, Ill.


Source: National Association of Realtors

Total existing-home sales including single-family and condos were down 0.7 percent from the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.54 million, with distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) accounting for 26 percent of transactions, down from 33 percent a year ago.

NAR estimates that first-time buyers, who historically have accounted for 40 percent of home purchases, purchased 34 percent of all homes in the second quarter, up from 33 percent during the first quarter but down from 35 percent a year ago.

Investors, who often pay cash and compete with first-time buyers, accounted for 19 percent of all purchases in the second quarter, down from 22 percent in the first quarter but about the same as a year ago. Some 29 percent of sales were “all cash,” down from 32 percent in the first quarter and 30 percent a year ago.

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Fresh Properties For Sale In Provincetown

From  a low of $254K to a high of$3.995M here are six of the 18 new properties that came on the market in the last two weeks in Provincetown. These properties represent some of the best of the new inventory. From small stand alone condos to fabulous waterfront homes, the diversity of properties for sale in Provincetown is well represented.

262 A Bradford St $254K

This adorable cottage condo is nestled in the woods in the east End. 300 square feet of charm! It has painted hardwood floors, new windows, and a washer dryer. Sliders open to a secluded stone patio. One block from the bay beach.







2 Georges Path #B $440K

The Georges Path complex is a bucolic little neighborhood out by Shankpainter Road and Cemetery Road.  It is a mix of 2 unit condo buildings on a sweet cul-de-sac with mature woodland surrounding it, yet only a ten minute walk to town. This 900 square foot, 2 bed, 1.5 bath condo in the Georges Path complex is being marketed for $400K. The main floor has an open plan with stainless appliances in the kitchen and new cabinets. Large sliders in the living room open to a private deck that looks out to mature gardens. The second floor has 2 bedrooms, a full bath and a washer/dryer. There are hardwood floors throughout and a full unfinished basement.





290-C Bradford St $469K

This single family home was built in 2009, and is a charmer inside and out. It is a 649 square foot 1 bed 2 bath home. The main living level has bamboo floors, lots of windows, bead board, birch cabinets, a gas fireplace, and a half bath. The second floor has a master suite. The outdoor space is superb with patio, decks and a covered porch. There are two bonus spaces in the attic and in the lower level basement area. It is in a sweet east End mini neighborhood right past the East End tennis courts. (Excuse the winter picture!)




12 Howland St #C, $489K

12 Howland Street #C is a well appointed freestanding cottage set back from the street. The cottage is approximately 844 square feet and lives like a single family home and is being marketed at $489K. . (We love this description in Provincetown as it does truly describe the benefits of this type pf condo cottage) The first floor features wide plank hardwood floors and separate living and dining rooms, a large bedroom, bathroom, and eat in kitchen with period cabinets and stainless steel appliances. There is a patio located off the kitchen. The second floor features a loft area with a full height bedroom and sitting area.





40 Pleasant St #1 $525K

This is a perfect Provincetown West End retreat, located 1.5 blocks from Commercial Street in one of the sweetest neighborhoods in town and is being marketed for $525,000. This 2 bedroom, 1 bath home was totally renovated in 2005 and has been gently used by second home owners and never rented. This property has hardwood floors throughout, granite and stainless kitchen, good sized bedrooms, and a lovely large fenced private yard with blue stone patio and professional landscaping. This is one of my favorites….it’s also one of our terrific listings!






73 Commercial St $3.995M

This fabulous waterfront home is on the market for the first time in 16 years and is priced at $3.995M. Beautifully renovated and restored, each level of this residence offers a feast for the eyes. Perched at the peak of the house, is the master suite with a beamed cathedral ceiling, ensuite bath and home office. On the second floor is the main living room with beamed ceilings, wonderful built-ins and a large bayside deck. There is also a guest bedroom and full bath on this level. The first floor has another guest bedroom with ensuite BA. The large eat-in kitchen with high end appliances opens onto a deck and the lush lawn and well tended gardens. This is a stunning property!




I have taken some of the descriptive copy for these properties from MLS and added some comments of my own. Hope you enjoy!

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Provincetown Core Condo Market Facts

I was doing a report for one of our sellers in the $400K to $600K range, the core of the condo market here in Provincetown and came up with an interesting fact.

I found that in the last twelve months 45 condos sold (3.75 per month) in this range and that there are currently 45 condos for sale in this price range. This illustrates a 12 month supply of inventory if properties sell at the same speed in the next twelve months as they did in the last twelve months. Just  a little coincidence to share with you along with a handful of properties that sold in this segment over the last 12 months.

23 Captain Berties Way, #3, sold for $43
4 Holway St #4, sold for $510K










12 Brewster St sold for $575K
22 Pearl St #1, sold for $466K.










56 West Vine St, #C, sold for $565K
18 Miller Hill Road #10, sold for $450
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Boston Condo Prices Set Record… And A Scarcity Of Units Ensues!

Yesterdays Boston Globe article follows for those who didn’t see it. It is all the buzz!… and for good reason.

Globe Staff / July 24, 2012
Condominium values in Boston’s core reached a record high during the second quarter of this year as eager buyers drove up sales, according to data­ scheduled to be released Tuesday.
The median price in a dozen downtown neighborhoods — they include Beacon Hill, the Fenway, the North End, and South Boston — climbed to $515,000 during the three months that ended June 30, according to LINK, meaning half sold for more than that price and half for less. That topped the previous peak of $498,500 in 2008, just prior to the nation’s financial crisis. LINK, a Boston company, tracks the downtown condominium market.
The increase adds to mounting evidence that the state’s housing market is on the mend, housing specialists said.

The feeling out there is prices are not going to soften anymore,” said Barry ­Bluestone, the director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. “We are seeing the real signs of a recovery in the housing market.”

Even during the worst years of the real estate industry’s decline, condominium prices in some of Boston’s more desirable areas fell only modestly, putting the local market in a better position to rebound. Prices and sales were propped up by higher-income homeowners who were hurt less during the recession, as well as by the increasing popularity of urban living coupled with limited inventory, housing specialists said.

“The city attracts young and old by providing fun and beauty, art and restaurants, all without needing a car,” said a Harvard University economist, Edward­ Glaeser, author of the book “Triumph of the City.”

Trisha Collins McCarthy, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, said many condominium buyers like the idea of trading long, congested commutes for city conveniences. “We have more of a population that has said, ‘I want to be near the train,’ ’’ she said.

After dropping for a couple of years, downtown condo prices started to climb in 2010. This year, that growth has been bolstered by continued low interest rates and improving consumer confidence, according to housing specialists.

Condominium sales volume was up sharply during the second quarter of this year, to 1,051, or nearly 36 percent more than during the same three months of last year.

The median sale price of condominiums in luxury buildings — those that offer amenities such as concierge and valet services — also climbed.

The $779,000 median closing price for the luxury condos was 7.8 percent higher than during the second quarter of 2011, LINK said, compared with 7.5 percent higher for the all of the Boston neighborhoods measured by the company.

The number of luxury condo sales during the past three months increased by 22.2 percent to 198, the company said.

Statewide, single-family home values remained essentially flat in June, at $331,000, compared with June 2011, while the number of sales increased by 18 percent to 5,099, according to William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance. It is based in Shelton, Conn., but also does business in Massachusetts.

Even though more people are signaling they are ready to buy a condominium in Boston, real estate agents say they struggle to find enough units to show. Only 531 properties were available in the downtown area on the last day of June, about half the number up for sale on that day in 2011, LINK reported.

Eddy Foley, 45, said he has spent six months looking for a South End condominium priced in the $500,000 range. He found one he wanted, but lost out when someone else bid $34,000 over the asking price.

“It’s torture out there,” Foley said. “There’s really nothing available.”

Carmela Laurella, president of the Boston-based real estate company CL Waterfront Properties LLC, said condominiums priced reasonably are selling quickly.

Indeed, sales on the Boston waterfront jumped by 72.7 percent in the second quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2011. The median price for a waterfront condominium increased by 21.2 percent, to $827,000, LINK found.

“We have more demand than we have property to sell,’’ Laurella said. “We can barely list anything without it going under [a purchase agreement] within a couple of weeks.”

John Ranco, a senior sales associate with Hammond Residential Real Estate in the South End, said times have changed so drastically that real estate agents are now searching to locate interested sellers rather than wary buyers.

“The supply side is really hurting,” Ranco said. “There is a tremendous amount of pent-up demand.”

Jenifer B. McKim can be reached at [email protected]

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The Goode and Farmer Report – Boston Q2 Update

The Big Number is 16%. That’s the increase in condo sales in Boston as of June 30. Combined, all Boston neighborhoods saw a 16% increase in the number of condo sales year to date, a 2% increase in the average price of a condominium sold, and a 5% increase in the median sales price. Put together all this good news is more evidence that while not necessarily out of the woods, this real estate market is healthier than most. The one downside to this exceptional sales activity is that inventory levels of available condo’s for sale have fallen 38% to 1,177 properties for sale versus 1,903 at th is time last year.

Boston’s most expensive neighborhood the Back Bay,  saw a 30% increase in sales while the average price  of a condo sold dropped by 11% to $1.162M. The inventory level of properties for sale dropped 31% to 168 condos for sale vs 242 last year.

The South End saw a 24% increase in the number of condo sales to 264 properties and  the average price of a condo sold increased 1% to $684K. The inventory of condos for sale decreased 45% from 208 to 114. Unless this condition corrects itself this will be a factor in market performance going forward.

South Boston, the darling of the my last market report moderated somewhat with a 4% increase in the average sales price to $408K and a 12% increase in sales to 235 properties sold through the second quarter. South Boston has the largest drop in inventory of all downtown n’hoods down 56% from 225 properties for sale last year to 99 available for sale today.

Every downtown neighborhood has it’s own story and most are positive excepting the inventory numbers. Total Boston numbers highlight the good news. Sales volume is up 19% to $1.080B… One Billion, 80 million dollars! Average days on market are down 12% and the inventory of properties for sale is down 38%.  These numbers highlight incredible short term performance but portend serious issues going forward.


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The Goode and Farmer Report – Provincetown Q2 Update

Sales through the 2Q in Provincetown continue to be strong! Growing economic optimism and continued low interest rate have kept buyers and sellers in the market, and almost more importantly, there is a great assortment of properties for sale.

Year-to-date condominium sales through the second quarter surged 28% from 54 sales last year to 69 sales this year. The average sales price of condos sold increased 11% to an average of $400K vs. $361K last year.

Single Family sales did more than surge – they exploded! We went from 14 sales last year to 27 sales through the second quarter. Even with this relatively small sampling, these represent very positive increases. The average sales price of single-family properties sold was $731K. The total sales volume of single-family homes sold was close to $20M – up 67% from last year’s volume of $11.8M.

These figures are evidence that the market has improved markedly year-over-year. More evidence of the market improvement can be seen in both the condo and single-family segments where the average days on market has decreased by 33% and 9% respectively. While we don’t look at days on market with quite the same importance as we do in Boston, DOM’s are a good indication that properties are selling faster and that the inventory of properties for sale is becoming leaner.

Speaking of inventory, as of July 14 there are 157 condominiums for sale in Provincetown, with an average price of $466K and an average price per square foot of $583. And the average days these remain on market is 246.

There are 77 single-family properties for sale with an average price of $1.441M with an average of 2,398 square feet.

We are in the midst of an incredible summer season here in town and this will surely add to the positive real estate news. The number of buyers and of sellers looking to market their properties for sale is up, indicating continued strength and excitement for real estate in our little fishing village.

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Low Inventory Pushing Prices Up In Boston?

Scott Van Voorhis  did a great post on declining inventory levels finally driving up prices in Boston.  I have excerpted the post below. The numbers are staggering in many of the markets shown.

Boston has landed near the top of a list of major metro markets across the country where low inventory appears to finally driving up home prices.

Boston comes in No. 11 on the report, having seen the number of homes on the market drop 37 percent over the past year, as of June 19, according to a new report by Movoto Real Estate. (Movoto is an national on-line brokerage whom I am certainly not endorsing but who did an interesting report). During the same period prices of homes on the market in the Hub have risen 11 percent to nearly $300,000.

Here’s an excerpt from Movoto’s report.

We are seeing a gradual increase in the prices of homes in areas that have been most affected by low inventory. This could be an indicator the housing market has finally pulled out of its slump. We’d like to think so.

Here are the two relevant sets of stats taken from the Movoto report. The first shows declining inventory levels in Boston and other major metro markets across country.

  • Las Vegas, down 66 percent
  • San Francisco, down 65 percent
  • Miami, down 62 percent
  • Fresno, down 52 percent
  • Oakland, down 50 percent
  • Long Beach, down 49 percent
  • Seattle, down 42 percent
  • Mesa, down 41 percent
  • Phoenix, down 41 percent
  • Portland, down 41 percent
  • Boston, down 37 percent

The second set of stats, also from Movoto, shows the rise in list prices in these same cities.

  • Las Vegas, up 52 percent
  • Phoenix, up 30 percent
  • Mesa, up 25 percent
  • Miami, up 23 percent
  • San Francisco, up 23 percent
  • Austin, up 22 percent
  • Oakland, up 17 percent
  • Seattle, up 14 percent
  • Fresno, up 13 percent
  • Long Beach, up 12 percent
  • Boston, up 11 percent

Combine more buyers with fewer sellers and prices start to go up.

That tried and true  economic law of supply and demand is always the reason why prices go up or down. As I say repeatedly… Empirical data does not lie.



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June Sales In Provincetown – 5 Of My Favorites

There are so many interesting properties here. In fact, almost every one is special. Down a dirt lane, up on a hill, built in the 1700’s, owned by a sea captain or a police chief, 195 square feet on the beach, a small stand-alone condo nestled in the woods – every turn you make and every open house you go to, something wonderful intrigues you about a property.

3 Atlantic Ave, $1.065M


3 Atlantic Avenue has always been one of my favorite houses in town.  This is one of the town’s oldest homes dating back to the 1700’s.  One lot in from Commercial Street with peeks of the bay, this charmer recently received a total renovation. The previous owners brought this three-quarter Cape back into the 21st century preserving the original architectural details and adding the highest quality contemporary fixtures. This incredible 1,604 square foot, 3 bed/2 bath home sold for $1.065M.




5 Creek Round Hill, $910K


5 Creek Round Hill Road is a large 2,592 square foot, 3 bed/3bath single-family home in the far West End with panoramic views of the Moors. Sited to maximize views and privacy this home has multiple decks, fireplaces, a sun room and a home gym. It also includes the adjacent lot of .295 acres. This property had been on the market for 262 days and sold for a very reasonable $910K.




3 Thistlemore, $575K


Another interesting single-family home sale was 3 Thistlemore Road.  This was a really well-priced, single-family home nestled in the wooded hills of the Somerset Heights neighborhood in the East End. This house has 3 bed/2 bath, a den, 1,967 square feet and a 20′ x 20′ rooftop deck with treetop and dune views. There is a master suite on the top floor with a sitting area, fireplace and a large master bath. The outdoor gardens have been lovingly planted with perennials and herb gardens and includes a garden shed. This property was updated in 1997. See what I mean? It was a great value at $575K. 



54 Harry Kemp Way $665K


There have been two interesting condominium sales so far this month. One was at 54 Harry Kemp Way in the White Pines complex and sold for $665K. This is a sought after group of condos – many have great farmer porches and some are stand-alone condos reading like single-family homes. This 3 bed/3 bath home has 2,500 square feet, four floors of living space including a large master suite, 2 guest bedrooms with central air and 2 parking spaces. Talk about value!




46 Pleasant St #D, $435K


46D Pleasant Street is a terrific 1,200 square foot,  2 bed/3 bath condo in the four-unit Pleasant View complex. This property provides privacy and seclusion from the street. Handsome cabinetry, wood flooring and a newly renovated bath add to this very comfortable and attractive space. The ground level has a spacious sitting room and a cedar- walled bathing-suite. (their words, not mine). It sold for $435K and was on the market for a relatively short 51 days.

You can see why these are my favorites of all the properties sold this month. I will report on all June sales at the end of the month.

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Stay On Rte 6

Marie Yolen-Cohen so gets our fabulous little fishing village with her incredible book Stay On Route 6, and in her travel post on Huffington Post the other day. See excerpts below.

I love Provincetown. The dunes, the artists, the gayness, the glitter eyeshadow on men. It is a party town, as edge of the world towns usually are, and, as such, swarms with tourists out for a good time. It is like New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but with fewer beads, more high heels and  more men in those high heels. It is also the very start — or end, depending on which direction you head — of U.S. Route 6.

Bishop, CA is just 3205 miles away.



As I mention in my book Stay On Route 6, Provincetown is where the Mayflower Pilgrims landed first, before decamping to the more protected Plymouth.  And yes, there’s a great obelisk monument to climb — The Pilgrim Monument — considered to be the tallest all granite structure in the world.

Rob Costa of Art’s Dune Tours has been driving visitors around the Provincetown, MA sand dunes for 30 years, since he was a mere 18 years old.  His Dad, Art, launched the company in 1956, and though there were imitators over the years, Art’s remains the sole surviving Dune Tour operator on Cape Cod.  Among the eminent guests that Art escorted around were Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway who were in Provincetown filming the Thomas Crowne Affair.  Rob continues that folksy tradition.  He’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of Provincetown and its sandy habitat, informing us that “The Cape Cod National Seashore, a National Park established by President John F. Kennedy, takes up nearly 75 percent of the whole of Cape Cod” and that “Marlon Brando crawled across these dunes when he was rehearsing for A Streetcar Named Desire.”

He points out the tenacious plants that cling to life in this sandy environment, rosehips, beach plums and cranberries that thrive in fresh-water pools found throughout the dunes.  Poets, painters and writers (Eugene O’Neil, Thoreau, Jackson Pollock, for example) stayed in squatters shacks originally built in the 1850’s as temporary shelters for heroic “Surfmen” who patrolled the beach, ever ready to rescue shipwreck victims.  A bit over 100 years later, the U.S. Government removed all but 19 of these primitive dwellings — and now a few are available to Artists In Residence willing to live without electricity, fresh water or plumbing (but with one of the best vistas on the planet) for a few weeks at a time.

For a change of pace, watch six-pack abs and Katie Perry Drag Queens vie for your attention at one of the shows that puts Provincetown on the map.  Though Crown and Anchor is more famous, hit up the Post Office Cabaret for the ICONS show.  You’ve never seen prettier or more hunky boys gyrating and lip-syncing to the tunes of Lady Gaga, Madonna, Donna Summer, the dearly departed Whitney, (I’m not sure who will replace her.  Possibly the “not a real Rapper”, Nicki Minaj?) and others.

Grab a VIP ticket to sit in the front row and you get their sweat for free.

What a great post! See you in town.


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Provincetown Sales Year To Date

Provincetown year to date sales figures as of May 31 look great!

5 Brown St $350K

Condo sales are up 20% over last year with 53 condos sold year to date versus 44 last year. The average sale price was up 13% to $388K versus $343K last year. The energy on “the street” is palpable. There are excited buyers looking to take advantage of historically low interest rates and affordability levels not seen in a long time.

In past posts condos under $300K were highlighted and in another the “belly” of the condo market in the $500″s was examined. Both posts illustrate the broad assortment of properties for sale which is helping to drive sales.




5 Harbour Dr. $2.95M

The number of single family properties sold was up an amazing 83% to 22 properties year to date versus 12 last year. The average sales price was $732K against $871K last year  which is a decrease of 16%.

In Boston we can read more into “averages” as hundreds of properties are sold each month, and averages tend to be more important and meaningful. In Provincetown with a smaller sampling of properties, averages can be skewed wildly by one excessively high or low sale, and while still important and very interesting to look at, whats’s more important is the general trajectory of sales.


Provincetown is on track to have a very solid year in real estate.

We will publish our quarterly Goode and Farmer Report for Provincetown Q2 in early July.  Watch for it.