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Real Estate Market 2017: Charlestown, MA

The Charlestown area is located in a prime spot for residents who wish to enjoy the amenities of the area while maintaining a reasonable commuting distance into the Boston downtown area. The real estate market in this area is influenced by a variety of factors including local developments, the prices in adjacent cities and investments in infrastructure. The proximity to Harvard and MIT are significant indicators of stable growth for real estate markets. The addition of new transportation infrastructure to enable the commute between Charlestown and these destinations can be expected to contribute to a rise in real estate prices over time. Investors and buyers should consider the fact that many of these projects that add value to the real estate market are still in the initial phases. This information is valuable when considering the potential return on investment over a five to 10-year period of time.

Evaluating Real Estate in Charlestown

There are several methods available to prospective buyers who wish to evaluate real estate prices in Charlestown. The median value method allows buyers to examine the prices without the distortion effects that can occur when averaging prices for the same properties. This evens out the price without having the highest and lowest values creating that distortion effect. Median prices for single-family homes can also help investors analyze the risks and benefits of commercial properties as well. However, other methods are sometimes better for specific purposes. For example, another way to calculate real estate prices is the price per square foot.

Prices for Real Estate in Charlestown, MA

During 2017, the median value for a single family home was around $730,000. This number represents an 11.6 percent increase over the previous year, and these prices are still on an upward trajectory. Current estimates show that a 3.2 percent increase over the next year is a reasonable assumption. A good way to evaluate a future assumption of this kind is to look at the trends for previous periods. For example, during the previous period, there was a 16 percent increase in the median number of sales. The number of sales and the overall value are on an upward trajectory like this indicate a strong buyer’s market. The return on investment occurs later during the upward curve when selling the property will provide the desired rate of return.

During 2017, the average listing price for one square foot in Boston was $645, which is lower than the median listing price for Charlestown. The difference in this price is a critical factor for certain buyers, and it can play a major role in the final purchase decision. For example, the median listing price for Charlestown is $656, and the difference in price can be beneficial to buyers who are looking for an investment property in this area. The number of properties available for purchase is another important item to consider. For example, there are almost twice as many condominiums available as single-family homes, and the multi-family units available are negligible in relation to these other properties.

Rental prices are another area of interest for buyers and investors. Just like the price per square foot, the median rental price is also a useful metric. The price for a rental unit in Charlestown should be compared to the median rental price for a similar unit in Boston. The difference between these prices can determine the profit margins for a rental unit. For example, the median price for a rental unit in Boston is $2,700, which is $300 lower than the median price for a similar rental unit in Charlestown. These units will rent for around $3,000, and the gap between the two locations is also expected to change depending on the overall market trends and conditions.

Condominiums in Charlestown

Condominium developments in the Charlestown area were constructed in convenient locations between the Mystic River and the Charles River. This is an area that is ideal for commuters who wish to live near Boston without residing within the city limits. These condos provide amenities for people who enjoy living near the water. There is also a convenient water taxi service that serves these residents by providing a quick transportation route between the condominium areas and the Financial District. Small parks are also available as an amenity, and there are several local landmarks visible to serve as orientation markers for new residents. The Bunker Hill Monument and other landmarks are well-maintained, and they contribute to the prestige of the area. Buyers should observe these local conditions in order to make the best purchasing decision.

The period between 2011 and 2017 is significant for condominium prices in Charlestown. The Massachusetts Listing Service and Charlestown Real Estate Market report track data for condo sales and prices over long periods of time. This information reflects an overall trend that can be expected to continue under the current conditions. For example, the average price for a condo in Charleston went up by 50 percent during the busiest period during 2011. The average price change from 2011 to 2015 was also significant, and indicates a trend of robust growth. For example, in 2011, the average price for a condo was around $440,000, and this increased to almost $660,000 by 2015. Another significant report showed that the supply of condos has not produce an expected drop in prices. In fact, the steady increase in condo prices was consistent even during periods of surplus inventory on the Charlestown condo market.

Local Developments, Charlestown

Any new local developments can play a major role in the overall real estate market in Charlestown. The most relevant project taking place in the area concerns the 13-block area around the Bunker Hill housing facilities. This project will replace 1,100 apartments that were constructed during the last portion of the New Deal during the 1940s. The construction of 3,200 new apartments signals a certain level of confidence in the economic growth potential of this specific area. The developer, Corcoran Jennison Associates, partnered with SunCal to add the 2,100 apartments that will be priced according to the market. The remaining units will be advertised as workforce, which means that they will be priced within the range of the wages for the Boston economy. The addition of two public parks is an amenity that can affect the long-term valuation of these properties. There are several retail and commercial projects planned for this area as well. Transportation and landscaping projects are underway, and the maintenance of this area over time is expected to contribute to the increase in real estate value.

Local Real Estate News

Adjacent areas affect the valuation methods used to determine listing prices. This is why some investors also keep a close eye on the median prices for real estate properties in the nearby areas. The housing markets are particularly revealing, and the data is useful for anyone interested in purchasing real estate. There is significant purchasing activity taking place in the real estate markets near Charlestown. This includes East Boston, Dorchester, Somerville and Chelsea. As a point of reference, the median rent price in Boston is $2,900. The median price for a rental in East Cambridge is $3,200. These two prices can be used to get an idea of the Charlestown market value. The current median rental price in Charlestown is $2,042, and the upward trajectory of value can be anticipated based on the higher values shown in the nearby areas. The properties in all of these adjacent cities are being pursued by people who are relocating to Boston for new jobs that come with the boom in technology and related industries.

Other significant and newsworthy items include the investment of a billion dollars in each of the major areas targeted for development. The downtown area, the Back Bay and the South Boston waterfront are all undergoing a major transformation financed by this new surge of investment. The local real estate market will be impacted over time as these projects are completed. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority provides a network of commuter options for all of the significant residential areas around Boston. Additions to public transportation will also affect real estate markets as the downtown Boston area becomes more accessible to residents who live in condominiums, apartments or single-family homes within the surrounding areas.


Real estate markets in Charlestown are affected by a variety of conditions. This includes location, price and various types of local developments. The prices for condominiums have been rising steadily over a six-year period of time, and new development projects in the area promise to contribute to this trend. Investments in the transportation infrastructure should be viewed in close relation to the increase in the job market as the technology sector adds new positions over time. In addition, the major universities in this area will be attracting many new residents from around the world who seek additional opportunities. Many of them will relocate to this area permanently. This overall market trend shows the potential for a long-term increase in real estate sales.