2022 forecast: Boston real estate investing and house hacking market

An neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of the state of the real estate investing and house hacking market in the greater Boston area, and a forecast for what happens in 2022.

Tom Wagner
Tom Wagner
2 min read

"I went to an open house and there were 50+ people there"

"We've received 27 offers, highest and best is due by 5pm"

"If you agree in writing to name your firstborn child after my hero, Elvis Presley, maybe we will consider your offer."

Ok fine, I didn't actually hear the last one. But by now we all have heard about how crazy the market is. And it's true: the market is insane.

Supply is at an all time low:

Supply all time low

Prices are still near record highs:

Record high prices

Images from Greater Boston Association of Realtors January 2022 update

So is it possible to find a cash flow positive real estate investment in Boston in this market? Here's what I am seeing by submarket:

Not possible: Cambridge, Back Bay, North End, South End, Charlestown, etc (you likely know the suspects by now)

Long-shot but possible: East Boston, Chelsea, Roslindale, Jaimaica Plain, Allston, Everett, Medford

Pockets with some potential cash flow: Malden, Dorchester, Revere, Quincy, Milton

This list isn't inclusive of every city or neighborhood, just a snapshot of what I'm seeing as I look at properties.

And as you look further outward you find some towns with cash cows: Lowell, Worcester, Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, etc.

So what happens next?

Personally, I think it is unlikely we see a major correction in 2022. Supply is just too low and demand continues to stay strong even as rates rise back past 4%. But it is impossible to know for sure -- the uncertainty in the bond market could be the spark that shakes things up and causes a correction.

If anyone is interested in investing or house hacking in the Boston area shoot me an email. In addition to building CF Analyzer, I'm an active agent and love talking real estate: tom@househackboston.com

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