Massachusetts Sub Market Suggestions

16 Replies

Hey Massachusetts BPers. What do you think about the four submarkets for Massachusetts? I'd like to suggest that @Brandon Turner and the powers that be change them as follows (if thats even possible)...

Western MA

Central MA

Middlesex County

North Shore

South Shore

Greater Boston

Cape & Islands

What do you all think?

@Ann Bellamy

@Shaun Reilly

@Justin Silverio

@Mike Hurney

Any other MA BPers you all can tag for input?

Well, since you asked, Rob,

I'd probably go with only four, because MA isn't that geographically large.  I would keep them the way they are set up, except combine Cambridge with Boston, (@Brandon Turner it's an immediate suburb of Boston) and add SE MA & Cape & Islands as a 4th.

It is noteworthy that only Boston currently has any activity.

I agree that four is good: 

1 Western MA

2 Worcester County

3 Greater Boston 

4 Cape and Islands

South Shore and North Shore are 2 different worlds and having them together with greater Boston, not sure I like that.  South Shore shouldn't be part of Cape islands I'm not far from the bridge but over it completely different market.

I think 5 is probably the correct number to have.

With everyone else that having Boston and Cambridge as different sub sections makes no sense since they border each other.  If you get that granular you probably need about 50 sections.

Personally I would change Springfield to Western MA.  That will be the default for anything west and geographically about 1/3 of the state is west of there.

I'm okay keeping Worcester as is or calling it Worcester County or going to Central MA.  Worcester County and Central MA are pretty synonymous.  Since the biggest city and the county have the same name any of those 3 should be clear.

So in the East you can't just have a Greater Boston.  Saying Amesbury and Acushnet are the same market or Lowell and Plymouth or any other silly comparison makes no sense.

I think 3 areas:
a) Greater Boston which includes Boston proper, the rest of Suffolk County and Metro West so most (maybe all) of Norfolk County as well as the Southern parts of Middlesex and Essex Counties.

b) North East MA which would be the North Shore and the Greater Lowell/Merrimack Valley area.  Basically the rest of Essex county and rest of Middlesex county that isn't a direct Boston burb or Metro West.

c) South East MA which is basically all of Plymouth and Bristol Counties as well as the Cape and Islands.  Totally get that the Cape and Islands are their own world (Actually probably 3 worlds...) but they are their own very small world that would probably at best generate a couple posts a year, so this is the only logical place to put them.

If this is to many then frankly you keep the 3 eastern ones and collapse Central and Western MA into one.  Boston is by far the biggest city by 3-4 times and then you do have Worcester and Springfield but after that the next 17 biggest populations would be in one of those 3 eastern ones and like 24 of the next 26 (Thank you Google and Wikipedia!). 

I agree with Shaun's thought about north shore.  Lowell, Lawrence, Amesbury, Methuen, Haverhill, Newburyport, Merrimac (couple of others) tend to fall into one area. They are about an hour away from Boston Central.  Never say never, but the rents and people from northwest and Boston central would never mix....please don't take me too serious and get upset at me !  Even Craigslist has them separate.

I think a good group for "south of Boston" would be Plymouth, Bristol and Norfolk counties.  

The Cape (Barnstable County) is its own world - in fact, it has its own MLS (Cape and Islands MLS), which the rest of the state has no direct access to.

Boston and Cambridge should definitely be grouped as one.

PS - I can just imagine some reader from Texas wondering how Plymouth and Cape Cod are different market areas when they're only divided by a bridge!

Well, all the fine-tuning of what we consider a sub market is going to be a moot point, because people will decide to post or not, regardless of what we think the boundaries should be.  So while New Bedford and Nantucket are about as far away from each other in type of market as you could imagine, they are more or less in geographical proximity.   If they are looking for a sub market, and see a heading SE MA / Cape Cod / Islands they will get the general idea.  

Remember we are a tiny state.  Think CA where the distances are much bigger.  I think we have 4 sub markets at best.  And since no one is posting in any other than Boston, it's not going to be a big deal.  

Originally posted by @Ann Bellamy :

Well, all the fine-tuning of what we consider a sub market is going to be a moot point, because people will decide to post or not, regardless of what we think the boundaries should be.  So while New Bedford and Nantucket are about as far away from each other in type of market as you could imagine, they are more or less in geographical proximity.   If they are looking for a sub market, and see a heading SE MA / Cape Cod / Islands they will get the general idea.  

Remember we are a tiny state.  Think CA where the distances are much bigger.  I think we have 4 sub markets at best.  And since no one is posting in any other than Boston, it's not going to be a big deal.  

Well I agree that nobody is posting in any of the other sections so might just be a moot point anyway.  It will probably just be like Craigslist where everyone just posts in Boston even if they are clearly located in a different region that has it's own one just because it is where more eyeballs are.

I will say even though we are a small state we have a very high population density so lots of property and lots of investors.  Middlesex county is the 23rd biggest county in the USA and doesn't include Boston, or any of the 3 largest cities in the state actually.  Fun fact in 2006 it also apparently had the 10th most millionaires of any county in the country as well, so a lot of, and higher density of, people that know a little something about making money.  We're relevant dammit!  :) 

We also do see the North of Boston and South of Boston segregation where not many people work in both.  Unless you live right on par with the city (such as myself) nobody wants to deal with going through the Greater Boston area to see their place on the other side.  That 5-10 miles adds 30-120min to the drive.  :) 

I agree with Shaun and Ann.  As Shaun mentioned, 5 areas for MA would be proper - Central, Western, North of Boston, South of Boston & Boston.  But to Ann's point, there really isn't much posting so maybe 2 areas would be sufficient for now - Central & Western Mass and Eastern Mass.

@Shaun Reilly

@Ann Bellamy

@Rob Beland

All good points above. I agree with Ann, I think four sections are enough.

I'd propose using a geographical division of Metro Boston, North Shore, South Shore, and Western MA because I think a lot of real estate community in MA already divides it up this way. That allows investors to discuss the nuances of the markets within the forum of that geography.

Shaun also made a good point about how there is already clear segregation between North Shore and South Shore. I think there is a similar segregation between East (aka, Metro Boston) and West (say, Framingham and beyond). 

Just my two cents, for what's it's worth. 

Clinton

@Rob Beland I don't think you can break it down to submarkets in Massachusetts.

I was helping buyers that had "narrowed down" their Home search to Brighton, Brookline, Roslindale, JP and West Roxbury.

My old stomping grounds.

I found myself doing several hours of "homework" for them with comps before we saw anything each day. (they finally bought and got a great deal! Of course;-)

Best quick example I can give is Marblehead $11.08/$1000. and Swampscott $17.18/$1000 adjacent towns where I'm very active. Those differences in Real Estate taxes are reflected in very different property (and sale) values.

Master a manageable area/town of say 10,000 properties, then expand your searches. (Lesson One of "How to Become a Real Estate Investor in 12 Easy Lessons" by Mike Hurney)

I agree with @Rob Beland except I'm not sure if calling out Middlesex county is necessary. Maybe it is...who knows. Those submarkets are correct for finding professionals in your area, networking with investors that you could do business or getting general advice about the market. I'm not sure what other reasons you'd need to have submarkets?

How do we actually get this to change? We can talk about it forever but no point unless it will actually happen. 

I think we do need all those sub-markets.  I'd like to be posting in both Cape and Islands, and South Shore subforums, about very local issues, like property leads, contractors, dealing with local officials, and more.  Why shouldn't we have them?  All real estate is local.  Boston is a totally different market from South Shore, and both are different from Cape and Islands.

As others have stated, I would love to have Cape and Islands and South Shore separated out from Boston.

To me, there are six main geographical areas in Mass:  Greater Boston, North Shore, South Shore, Cape and Islands, Central Mass and Western Mass. 

Even though within each area you will find great diversity in property values, it at least allows us investors to look in general areas for contractors , insurance, property management. If I'm looking on the Cape for a contractor, I'm not interested in one from Peabody. And the Cape MLS is separate which should be a large enough clue that it's not Like the rest of Mass.

Also, Greater Boston will always have the most activity, but that's just a factor of the density, population, and rental activity.

I would love to see six. 

@Ann Bellamy

@Shaun Reilly

@Mike Hurney

@Justin Silverio

I have a question,  it out of the topic.

why don't we have someone host REI meeting target market for greater boston, and the South Shore.

Thanks 

Tommy 

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