Multi-family properties - which includes two-families, three-families, four-families and buildings with 5+ units - are rare offerings in the Cambridge, MA real estate market.
A review of MLS sales data shows that in the five year period 2002 through 2006, 494 multi-family properties SOLD in Cambridge - an average of 99 a year. In the last five years - 2007 through 2011 - 333 multi-families SOLD in Cambridge - an average of 66 a year. The total number of multi-family transactions in Cambridge, MA reported in MLS between 2007 and 2011 is 33% below the previous five-year period between 2002 and 2006.
What accounts for the decrease in the number of multi-family sales in Cambridge, MA? For sure, many multis are converted into condominium associations. As a result, these multis come to the market just once as multis. As a result, the number of multifamily properties in Cambridge, MA is getting smaller and smaller with each passing year. I believe this goes a long way towards explaining the reduction in the total number of sales.
As for the health of the Cambridge multi-family market, the average sales price has been steadily increasing over the last decade, with only a slight dip in the period 2007-2009, as can be seen in the chart below:
In 2012, there have been multiple instances of multi-family multiple offer situations. Even with limited supply and rising prices, the demand for multi-families in Cambridge remains strong.
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