semiURBAN Real Estate is Sizzling!

Photo Credit: PAT GREENHOUSE/GLOBE STAFF
Photo Credit: TAMIR KALIFA/GLOBE FILE

Photo Credit: TAMIR KALIFA/GLOBE FILE

The secret is out – semiURBAN is where it’s at! This past Sunday, the Boston Globe Magazine featured its Top Spots to Live 2014, a list of “13 Communities Where the Real Estate Market is Sizzling,” and while it doesn’t surprise us, the semiURBAN world dominated. We’re talking Somerville, Salem, Lynn, Newburyport, Lawrence, and Roslindale (in Boston, but hello, commuter rail and cute village area). And even though we wouldn’t quite characterize the following as being in the semiSPHERE, places like Hamilton, Ipswich and Kingston also made the list, and each of them has…wait for it…commuter rail access to Boston. Come to think of it, the Newburyport Commuter Line in particular is THE place to be: Lynn, Salem, Hamilton, Ipswich, and Newburyport all made the cut.

What did the Globe (with a little semiURBAN commentary thrown in for good measure) have to say. We’ll run it down for you:

  • Somerville is “every bit as chic” as Cambridge and Boston, and is the seventh most walkable city in the nation, even before the Green Line extension rolls in a few years from now. (Median $540,000, +20.47% since 2012)
  • Salem is “much more than its infamous history” with amenities like the Peabody Essex Museum, beautiful historic homes (and condos carved out of old historic homes), waterfront and downtown restaurants galore, and a bustling city center full of shops and cafes.  (Median $300K, +20.05%)
  • Newburyport is easily accessible, a summer tourist draw, and has a “lively downtown…fanning out to encompass blocks and blocks of boutiques and restaurants.” It’s also got cool theaters offering live performances and great art house cinema, and not one, but two breweries. Hello! (Median $496,000, +28%)
  • A Lynn turnaround is underway due to amenities like the Lynn Auditorium, cool lofts for a fraction of the cost, amazing transit proximity to Boston, and ocean views second to none. There’s also a massive, fantastic beach in neighboring Nahant. (Median$219,111, +21.73%)
  • Roslindale, the epitome of a cityburb, is 15-minutes away from downtown, is surrounded by green space (Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, etc.) and has a sweet village with shops and restaurants galore. (Median $410,000, +24.62%)
  • Lawrence may be the most unexpected on the list, but it’s vibrant ethnic restaurant scene, converted warehouses and mills, and improving downtown have it poised for a major semiURBAN comeback. (Median $180,000, +28.53%)

This further reinforces our belief that while the more traditional suburbs may be so “20th Century” (i.e. o-v-e-r), the small, former industrial cities on the periphery truly offer the perfect mix of the urban and suburban worlds that makes a semiURBAN lifestyle so attractive to more and more people – young and old. Or as pointed out in the Globe, a lot of those young city dwellers who delayed investing during the downturn and who now have kiddies running around,  are now looking for little more room to breath (indoor and outdoor). They also want cool stuff to walk to and train access to and from Boston. Basically, it’s no wonder they find the semiURBAN sphere so attractive. It offers the walkablity, culture and diversity of big brother Boston, but in a much more affordable (well most of them, anyway), and manageable package.

For more, click here for the Boston Globe article, and many, many, many pics.

(semiURBAN Homepage Image Credit: Pat Greenhouse, Boston Globe)

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