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According to Curbed Boston the condo market in Boston just before the virus upended the game board was showing a mixed bag of results for the first quarter of the year. A new report from Warren Residential which is part of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, shows positive growth that varies depending on the neighborhood. The number of closings were up 150% annually in Allston, and up in Brighton by more than 42%. The increase was 100% In Bay Village and 10% up in Back Bay. In Fenway/Kenmore, it was 45%-plus.

Renting vs. buying in the Boston area during coronavirusThen there were the steep declines. In Charlestown, the number of condo trades was down more than 45 percent compared with the first quarter of 2019, and, in East Boston, the number was down 64 percent-plus. In Dorchester, Boston’s biggest neighborhood, condo sales were off more than 12 percent year over year.

It’s difficult to divine why there were steep declines in some enclaves and sharp increases in others. It’s not necessarily a function of the inventories of available homes—a usual suspect. In Eastie, for instance, inventory was up by a double-digit percentage in the first quarter, but condo sales in the neighborhood still dropped that 64 percent-plus.

What analysts and brokers (and voyeurs) can agree on is that the pandemic has hit pause on what’s traditionally the very busy spring home-shopping season. It’s unclear when things will return to normal or how long the normality will last. The previous recession in 2008-2009 caused a months-long blip in the market—and then everything took off. Stay tuned.

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