The shortage of luxury condos for sale in downtown Boston neighborhoods has tipped the scale so significantly in favor of sellers that some discouraged buyers are walking away from the market altogether. They’re choosing instead to continue renting — a decidedly less cost-effective but seemingly less frustrating alternative. But, while buyers have been reeling from the Boston luxury condo deficit, neighborhoods outside of downtown have been evolving at a fever pitch, creating a momentous opportunity for buyers savvy enough to capitalize on it. One of these burgeoning neighborhoods is Somerville, ideally located along the Mystic River just a few short miles from downtown Boston. Here are four reasons smart investors are buying Somerville real estate right now.
4 reasons to invest in Somerville real estate
1. Higher education
The presence of prominent and well-established higher education institutions almost always creates stability in the real estate markets of surrounding neighborhoods. Somerville is well-situated within 5 miles of 34 colleges and universities, including Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Lesley University, Wheelock College, Berklee College of Music and Tufts, which is located right in Somerville itself.
Buyers looking to invest in Somerville real estate can be assured that home values are likely to see a steady increase, as they have for the last several years. Also, the abundance of local students creates a healthy population of renters, so well-maintained rental properties are unlikely to suffer vacancies. Metro9, the newest luxury condo building in Somerville, is optimally located for students, making it an attractive option for local investors.
2. Residential growth
The abundance of new residential condo construction is indicative of trending growth in Somerville. Builders are seeking neighborhoods that offer cheaper property than those in downtown Boston but still have the same luxuries and conveniences of city living, and Somerville fits the bill perfectly.
Metro9 is located within a 10-minute walk of Kendall Square, Lechmere Square, Union Square and Inman Square, as well as the Green Line and dozens of restaurants, coffee houses, and everyday conveniences like banks, drugstores, food markets and shopping centers. The Red and Orange Lines are less than a 20-minute walk for Metro9 residents, and a number of MBTA bus routes are just a block or two away.
Neighboring towns like Cambridge, Medford, and East Boston are also seeing a tremendous amount of growth, which further suggests that luxury condo buyers are opting for neighborhoods outside of downtown Boston that offer conveniences, culture, and a lively community without the hefty price tag. Buyers looking to invest in Somerville real estate can feel confident that the area will remain a popular choice and that they should see a generous return on investment after a short time.
3. The scene
In addition to the bounty of chic restaurants and stylish boutiques that already line the streets of Somerville’s hottest neighborhoods, other historically less popular areas in the city are seeing a surge of commercial growth. The largest of these projects is the redevelopment of Union Square, which many say will become Somerville’s version of Kendall Square, a Cambridge favorite (and 10-minute walk from Metro9).
The $1 billion, 2.3-million-square-foot mixed-use development will include office, lab, hotel, retail, arts and creative economy spaces, in addition to residences. 25% of the project will be made up of open space, including high-quality civic spaces. With the first phase of development scheduled for completion before the Union Square Green Line station opens in 2021, the neighborhood will add further depth to the already dynamic and vibrant city of Somerville, making it even more appealing to condo buyers who are looking to live near a bustling scene but are unable to afford the high costs of downtown Boston luxury condos.
Somerville has always been a popular choice for those wanting direct access to downtown Boston, as well as neighboring suburbs, Rte 1 and 93. But, with the addition of new stations to the Green Line, the neighborhood will soon be a top choice for commuters. The area is also favored by students because of the aforementioned proximity to local colleges and universities and by outdoor enthusiasts, who can easily get to the nearby Charles River and the numerous recreational activities it offers. Few other Boston neighborhoods provide residents with direct and immediate access to work, activity, leisure and entertainment. Metro9, the newest condo building in Somerville, has a walk score of 91, a bike score of 82, and a public transit score of 79.
There are numerous things a savvy condo buyer should consider about a potential property, but return on investment should be at or near the top of the list. Somerville has always been a more affordable option than downtown Boston, and it still is. But the neighborhood is blossoming and both demand and home prices are sure to increase even more than they have in the last five years. For those looking to invest in a neighborhood poised for immense trajectory, the time is right to invest in Somerville real estate.