A Response to Zip Code Matters

Today’s Boston Globe had an article about the performance of real estate by zip code.  I posted this article on December 18th breaking down Newton by zip code.  http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2009/01/28/its_all_a_matter_of_zip_code/?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed7


In view of the fact that Newton is so large and the villages quite diverse, I was curious to see if Newton housing performed as a whole or did certain villages operate on their own.  The results are somewhat surprising…all information was obtained from MLS on December 18, 2008.  The numbers will change very little at the end of the year, since there are few homes pending.


Zip code                          Village                                                     2007 vs.2008               % Change                  

02458                              Newton Corner                              $1,046K       $1,106K           + 6%

02459                              Newton Centre                              $902K             $924K        + 2.5%                                                 

02460                              Newtonville                                     $779K             $813K            + 5%                                                

02461                              Newton Highlands                         $714K             $720K    +1                                                 

02462                              Newton Lower Falls                      $685K             $518K             -24%                                                

02464                              Newton Upper Falls                     $522K              $461K         -11.5%                                                                        

02465                              West Newton                                 $542K              $523K           -3.5%                                                

02465                              West Newton Hill                      $1,451K            $1,641K       +13%                                                  

02466                              Auburndale                                  $761K              $706K             -7%                                                    

02467                              Chestnut Hill                               $1,528K          $1,230K       19.5%                                                   

02468                              Waban                                         $1,118K             $977K       -12.5%                                                  



So what information can we garner from these stats?  Since West Newton Hill and Chestnut Hill have the highest priced homes, one would think that they would have similar numbers, yet they do not; West Newton Hill is up 13% and Chestnut Hill is down 19.5%.  It is worth noting that West Newton Hill had a 40% decrease in homes sold in 2008, 51 in 2007 vs. 30 in 2008.  Chestnut Hill stayed about even, 31 vs.27.  It could mean we may see an increase in new listings on West Newton Hill in 2009.  One measure worth mentioning is that a few of these zip codes encompass a very large geographical area of Newton; Newton Centre and Newton Corner specifically.  Newton Corner consists of Nonantum, Hunnewell Hill, Farlow Hill, the area surrounding the YMCA and the Park Street neighborhood.  The Newton Centre zip code runs all the way from Cabot Street on the north side to south of Route 9 to Dedham Street.  These two zips are probably the most economically diverse of all the zip codes, so they might offer the clearest picture of Newton as a whole.  Newton Upper and Lower Falls are the smallest zip codes, and the had the least amount of homes sold; a change of a  few houses could alter these numbers considerably.


               Overall, Newton has weathered the housing crisis plaguing the rest of the US quite well.  I expect to see lower interest rates and less restrictive lending, however, less restrictive does not mean loose.  Lower interest rates combined with job security will hopefully translate into buyer confidence.  Stay tuned.


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