The real estate market in East Arlington is still hot. Prices and activity remain high in the face of mortgage rates that are up compared to several months ago. East Arlington’s real estate market has benefited from the same factors that have pushed up the broader U.S. housing market, plus its great location outside of Boston. East Arlington is a desirable place to live due to its suburban feel, access to public transportation, and proximity to downtown Boston. Many people move here to access the highly rated school system, tight-knit community, and attractive infrastructure like parks and bike paths.
As of June 1st, there are 3 single-family homes, 3 multi-family homes, and 9 condominiums on the market in East Arlington. As a point of comparison, in 2021 between June 16th and July 15th, 4 single-family homes sold, 9 condominiums sold, and 3 multi-family properties sold. As the data shows, activity had already begun to pick up at this time last year after a very slow winter. Over the last 10 months, average days on the market (DOM) was about 30.
The lack of listings has not meant cooling prices. In fact, it’s been the opposite: Low supply and high demand have caused prices for homes here in East Arlington to rise. Zillow estimates a 13.6% 1-year change in overall Arlington home prices as of 4/30/2022. MLS data using the “East Arlington” identifier confirms an increase in the 12-15% ballpark after adjusting for differences in square footage.
Multifamily houses are currently being offered in the range of $1,075,000 to $2,495,000 (the high end being a 7,600 square foot mixed use Victorian). Condominiums are offered for between $499,000 and $1,895,000. The lowest priced unit is 900 square feet on Rawson Rd, and the highest priced units are a pair of new construction units on Marathon St. There is a 3 bedroom single family home on Bates Road with an asking price of $800,000. On the other side of Spy Pond, A 3,600-square foot single family home overlooking the water is listed for $1.7 million.
Sales (Price Per Square Foot)
Based on the “East Arlington” identifier tag, the 18 single family homes that sold over the last 12 months averaged $608 per square foot. This was 10% over the average asking price of $552/sq ft. The 62 condominiums that sold averaged $552 per square foot, which was 5% higher than the average asking price. The 21 multi-family houses that sold averaged $446 per square foot, which was 1% lower than the average asking price.
Average Asking Prices
The average price per square foot of the 3 single family homes currently on the market in East Arlington is $509 with an average size of 2,391 square feet. For the 12 condominiums, it is $556 with an average size of 2,004 square feet.
Impact of Supply Chain
The Covid-19 pandemic reduced the availability of supplies and labor at a global level. Factory shutdowns and workers staying home sick delayed production and shipments. Supply chain disruption has caused delays for customers ordering products such as appliances, lumber, and other building materials while construction crews have been limited by worker illness. A bottleneck in one part of the supply chain has a ripple effect that impacts the market for new homes and renovation work.
The recent scarcity of materials and labor has increased both costs and time requirements for construction projects (both new construction and renovation projects). Ultimately, trends in home construction impact the broader real estate market. Potential homebuyers are willing to submit higher offers for renovated properties as they realize how much time, money, and hassle they are saving compared to hiring a contractor to renovate an old home. At least one of my East Arlington neighbors was debating renovating, but recently decided to buy a new house in Arlington instead of renovating their existing home after getting pricey quotes from contractors.
There is a chance that the recent surge in mortgage rates will slow home price appreciation, but it is not a certainty. In general, higher interest rates often coincide with inflation, which tends to push up home prices along with everything else. Some sellers are taking advantage of the hot real estate market while some buyers want to lock in their monthly housing expense before it potentially rises.