Boston Neighborhoods - Where to Live?
Boston Neighborhoods – Where to Live?
The city of Boston has designated 23 Neighborhoods in the city. One of the best things about Boston is that all the neighborhoods have different personalities... And that there is literally a neighborhood for anyone and everyone in Boston!
To make things even more confusing... Unofficially, Boston has many overlapping neighborhoods... within larger towns. Take South Boston or otherwise known as “Southie” as an example. Boston recognizes the neighborhood of South Boston, however to residents it is broken up into two distinct parts. There is the East Side & West Side. But within the two sides, there is the neighborhood w/in the neighborhood. Take Andrew Square or City Point. Both are in Southie. Andrew Square is on the West Side of South Boston while the neighborhood of City Point is on the East Side. And both are two very distinct areas with very different personalities.
So where do we start? Let’s start with the Designated 23 Neighborhoods in the city and then be on the lookout for future videos that go more in depth for each neighborhood. So lets scratch the surface if you will…
The official neighborhoods of Boston are: Allston, Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Brighton, Charlestown, Chinatown, Dorchester, Downtown, East Boston, Fenway- Kenmare, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston. South End, West End and West Roxbury. Boy… Say that 5 times fast!
Keep in mind that Boston today looks A LOT different than a couple hundred years ago. Knowing this, Boston may make a little more sense when you see all the roads criss cross in chaos when looking at a map!
Much of what we know as Boston today was actually a Bay that would be later filled in. So geographically speaking when we say north End or South End, they used to refer to their positions on the Shawmut Peninsula… But make a little less sense today.
But back to Boston today... Boston is Massachusetts largest city with a population-just under 700k. Greater Boston has an estimated population of 4. 8 million people.
As I mentioned, I will do more in-depth deep dives of the Boston neighborhoods, but for now... Let’s scratch that surface! When people think of Boston, they might not know it but they usually are picturing Beacon Hill. So let’s start there.
Beacon Hill is home to the State House. With a population of a little under 10k people, it is definitely not one of Boston’s biggest neighborhoods. But it is one of its most Premier. Beacon Hill is known for its upscale homes and antique shops on Charles Street. Beacon Hill is also one of Boston's oldest communities and therefore adorns a lot of attention with its Cobblestone Streets, Brick sidewalks and gas street lights.
Public Transportation is easily accessible being that you can reach 3 major T lines in Minutes - the Blue, Green and Red lines!
Year to date, the average Condo & Single family home price in Beacon Hill is $2m with a median price of $1.1m. Homes for Sale in Beacon Hill
The Back Bay is another iconic area that people picture when they think Boston.
A fun fact is that the Back Bay used to be just that... A Bay. That is until it was filled. Today it’s a stately neighborhood that is lined with elegant Boston Brownstones For Sale and luxury apartments.
The Back Bay is home to some of the city’s best window shopping with Newbury Street and the Pru. It is also home to some of Boston’s best "green space' as well. Here you can visit America's first Botanical Garden, or stroll the 3-mile-long Charles River Esplanade. One of my favorites is walking the Tree lined park that runs Commonwealth Avenue.
Transportation includes 4 stops along the green line, one on the Orange line and a commuter Rail stop at the Back Bay Station. The Back Bay is also just a 15-minute walk to Downtown.
Year to date, the average Condo and Single-Family property in the Back Bay has sold for nearly $2.2m with the median price being $1.3m. Homes for Sale in Back Bay
South Boston or "Southie'' is another Iconic area... But because of a different kind of history… It’s been made famous as the home of famed gangster, Whitey Bulger as well as huge Hollywood hit movies like the Departed. Heck, Matt Damon’s condo in Good Will Hunting just sold a couple years ago… However it did look a LOT different then what was in the movie!
Today, Southie is considered "The place'' to live for Millennials. Southie has transformed over the years with "Yuppies" having fully taken over. Today, you can still find a strong sense of community. Technically the Seaport District is part of Southie where many have tried but failed to get the name "South Boston Waterfront to stick.
Soothe is in an ideal location bordering Downtown and being within close proximity to the airport and I-93. You will also find some of Boston’s best Restaurants and Bars... Heck, Southie even has Boston’s best beach.
While technically the Seaport is part of South Boston, I figured it best to break out the numbers. The Year-to-date average condo a Single-Family sale in South Boston is $844,365 with a median price of $783k. The Seaport has an average of $2m with a Median price of $1.6m. Homes for Sale in South Boston
From South Boston, lets head to EAST Boston or as some call it "Eastie''. Some people call it Eastie… Not many. East Boston has more than 45,000 residents and is bordered by the towns Winthrop & Revere. The footprint of the neighborhood that we know today was done in the 1940s by connecting 5 inner Harbor Islands using landfill.
The people of East Boston are ethnically Diverse which has really been the story of East Boston’s history. Today nearly 55% of the population is Hispanic. However, with the recent explosion of development, East Boston has become an area that college students and recent graduates have discovered.
Residents of East Boston enjoy the Belle Island Marsh Reservation, the 6 Community Gardens, Constitution Beach and Piers Park which is a 6.5-acre park that overlooks Boston Harbor.
People who live in East Boston are served by multiple stops on the Blue line as well as Water Taxi's and the ferry.
The Year-to-date Condo & Single-Family home price in East Boston has averaged $708k with the Median price of $643k. Homes for Sale in East Boston
Charlestown is located across the bridge from the city center. You may remember the Bridge in the move "The Town'' with Ben Affleck. And for the record… Charlestown today is NOTHING like that.
Charlestown is known for the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. Residents will immediately comment on how the streets are less crowded then other areas of Boston. Which is a HUGE perk! Homes in Charlestown consist of older Single Family and Multi-Family properties that have been condo converted. You will also find some newer buildings, specifically in the Navy Yard which is a neighborhood in the neighborhood of Charlestown!
Things to do in Charlestown is going to enjoy the Bunker Hill Monument, Winthrop Square, and the Charlestown Civil War Memorial. Many can also be found walking the Harbor walk in the Navy Yard.
Charlestown is serviced by the Orange line at the Sullivan Square and Community College stops. It also has easy access to I-93.
Year to date Condo and Single-Family home prices in Charlestown have averaged $908k with the Median price of $822k. Homes for Sale in Charlestown
Let’s head over to the Allston & Brighton Neighborhoods. Most people will lump these two together which technically is not correct. They may share Police and fire, but to the city of Boston... they are two distinct neighborhoods.
Allston is home to about 30k people of all different make ups; however, it is known for its large population of college students and recent grads.
Allston is bordered by Fenway and Brighten as well as Brookline. The Charles River borders Austen in the North and the East.
Housing in Allston consists of a lot of large Brick Apartment buildings with the areas closer to Brighten being more multi-Family properties with the occasional Single Family mixed in.
Residents enjoy the convenience of the B line of the Green line which has multiple stops throughout and takes you into the city center.
Year to date, the average Condo and Single-Family sales price in Allston is $517k with the median property price being $515k. Homes for Sale in Allston
Brighton is a town of about 43k people. It known for its younger residents; however, Brighton doesn’t have nearly as many as Allston! But Brighton isn’t just a college neighborhood... Yes, you will find college students, but you will also find a mix of young professionals and families.
Brighton has seen a lot of development lately with the New Balance World Headquarters and Boston Landing which is a 15-acre mixed used Development with office space, retail stores and a sports facility for the Bruins and Celtics.
Brighton is served by the B and C Branch of the Green Line. They also have a new commuter Rail stop at the Boston Landing Station.
The Year-to-Date average Condo and Single-Family sales price in Brighton is $559k with the median pricing being 497k. Homes for Sale in Brighton
Next let’s head to the most suburban neighborhood in the city of Boston. And that neighborhood is West Roxbury.
Yes, originally West Roxbury was part of Roxbury... But today they are two VERY different neighborhoods with two VERY distinct Personalities.
West Roxbury is home to about 30,000 residents. They hold the title as the safest place to live with a crime rate that is 65% lower than the Boston Average.
People of West Roxbury enjoy great amenities like Millennium Park which sits along the Charles River and has six Miles of trails. The Park also contains playgrounds and even a canoe launch. Other popular spots are Bilings Field and Brooks farm which is a 179-acre National Historic site.
West Roxbury mostly consists of Single-Family Homes. If you are looking for a yard and want to be in the city of Boston then West Roxbury needs to be on your list.
West Roxbury is served by the Needham commuter line with 2 stops.
Year to date the average condo and Single-Family home in West Roxbury is priced at $702k with the median price being $682k. Homes for Sale in West Roxbury
Like West Roxbury, Roslindale also used to be part of Roxbury. Today Roslindale offers residents a good mix. It is a little livelier than W. Roxbury, but less trendy than other spots around the city.
Here you will find a mix of Single-Family Homes as well as Condos & Multi- Family properties depending on the area. For example, the Western part of Roslindale blends w/ the one- & two-family properties with tree lined streets in West Roxbury while the northern area tends to be denser with 2 to 3 Family Properties.
The square has gone through a revitalization in the last couple decades and is now a central focus on what draws folks to this neighborhood.
Roslindale is served by the Needham commuter line with 3 stops. It also has access to the Orange line at Forest Hills which is on the Roslindale / Jamaica Plain Border.
Year to date, the average Condo and Single-Family sales price in Roslindale is $640k with the median price being $620k. Homes for Sale in Roslindale
Jamaica Plain is the neighborhood that is North of Roslindale. So, if you are looking at a map, then Jamaica Plain is a little closer to City center,
Jamaica Plain has a population of about 38,000 people and is home to four of the Emerald Necklace Parks of Boston. The Emerald Necklace is pretty cool so may be worth a quick Google later…
Today Jamaica Plain is known for its art scene and large concentration of artists, families and young professionals. One of the highest in 'demand neighborhoods is Moss Hill which is a quiet neighborhood with mostly Single-Family homes with yards!
Centre Street is the neighborhoods main throughfare and area of activity. Here you will find many independent stores and Restaurants.
Jamaica Plain is considered one of the 1st street car suburbs in America. And if you don’t know what that is… Don’t worry, I had to look it up to! Basically, this community was developed once public transportation made it easy to get to and from downtown Boston. Today, residents of Jamaica Plain are served by the Needham Commuter Race Line at the Forest Hills stop as well as 4 stops along the Orange line.
Year to date the average Condo & Single-Family sales price in Jamaica Plain is $762k with the median price being $717k. Homes for Sale in Jamaica Plain
Mattapan is a neighborhood that is home to about 37,000 people. This is a a neighborhood that is predominantly Residential. Mattapan has it all with a mix of public housing, small apartment buildings, Single family homes, as well as multi-family homes.
The Commercial heart of the neighborhood is predominantly in Mattapan Square. Mattapan is served by the Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed line or as also known as the Mattapan Trolley. It is a partially grade-separated light rail Line. Residents can transfer to the Red Line at the Ashmont Station that will take them into Boston Center. There are also two Commuter Rail stops, the Blue Hill Avenue and Morton Street stops that will take you into South Station in Downtown Boston.
Year to date the average Single Family and condo sale price in Mattapan is $473k while the median price is $475k. Homes for Sale in Mattapan
Dorchester is Boston’s largest neighborhood and also its most diverse. Dorchester is actually the 8th most diverse Zip Code in the United States. As Boston’s largest neighborhood, there are nearly 126k people that call Dorchester home which is spread over 6 Square Miles. Dorchester actually rivals the size & population of the separate city across the Charles, Cambridge. I throw in the separate part as many out of towners will lump Cambridge and Boston together which is a huge no no to locals.
Dorchester is so large that often times it is divided into 2 sections, North and South Dorchester. While the city is inclined to split Dorchester into North and South, locals really stick to talking about the neighborhoods inside the neighborhood. Neighborhoods like Savin Hill or the Polish Triangle.
There is literally something for everyone in Dorchester from sprawling Victorian homes in Ashmont Hill to Fields Corner where Post Graduates can find apartments for reasonable rent.
Dorchester residents are serviced by four stops on the Red line as well as 2 Stops on the Ashmont – Mattapan Trolley line which connects to the Red line at the Ashmont Station. There are also 3 stops on the Commuter Rail Line
Year to date the average Condo & Single-Family sales price in Dorchester is $603k with the Median price at $590k. Homes for Sale in Dorchester
Roxbury has had a couple identity changes throughout its history. First it was known as a largely Irish community, then a Jewish Community. Today the city States that Roxbury is the'' Heart of Black Culture in Boston''. Nubian Square serves as Roxbury’s hub for Commerce.
There has been significant development over the years as there has been a spillover of college students from Mission Hill & Fenway. These students have ventured into the neighborhood looking for affordable housing with an amazing location. Two things that Roxbury has!
Roxbury is served by the Roxbury crossing stop on the Orange Line. There are also two additional stops just beyond the neighborhood’s boundaries. The Commuter Rail has two stops in Roxbury while the Silver line has a stop in Dudley Square... And for the record when people talk about the Silver Line… It’s like Boston lives to confuse folks as the Silver Line is really a Bus Line… Not a Subway. The city does call it a Bus Rapid Transit if that helps or makes sense in anyway...
Year to date the average condo and Single-Family sales price in Roxbury is $576k with the median price of $569k. Homes for Sale in Roxbury
Mission Hill is a neighborhood that is about a 3/4 of a square mile and home to about 16k people. It is known for its back row houses and triple decker homes (3 Families for the out-of-town folks) while being home to several hospitals & universities.
"The Hill'' as it is known as overlaps with about half of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area. All in all, Mission Hill is home to 21 health care, research and educational institutions that has become the engine of economic and housing growth in the area. The Mission Hill Triangle is an architectural landmark with homes dating from 1872 to 1890. It is a beautiful neighborhood that reflects multiple Architectural styles.
Residents of Mission Hill utilize the 4 stops that run along the Green E Line Branch as well as the one stop at Roxbury crossing on the Orange Line.
Year to date the average Condo and Single-Family sales price in Mission Hill is $646k with the median price being $613k. Homes for Sale in Mission Hill
The Fenway - Kenmore
I can promise you that the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood is more than just Fenway Park. Most commonly referred to as "Fenway", it is a neighborhood of about 41k people.
Today the Fenway is much more than a place for just a burger, a beer and a game. Fenway has seen a boom that has replaced many older landmarks with condos and luxury rentals. But don't worry... The Citgo sign is still there!
Fenway is also home to part of the Longwood Medical Area as well as Boston University which has been aggressively purchasing land throughout Fenway for the last 20 years.
The neighborhood is served by 8 stops on the Green line as well as the Yawkey Stop on the Commuter Rail
Year to date the average Condo in the Fenway is $637k while the median price is $599k. Homes for Sale in the Fenway
The South End
The South End is one of Boston’s most beautiful neighborhoods with its Brick Brownstone Victorians and the many parks in and around the area. The South End has the largest intact Victorian Row House District in the country.
Residents today love the walkability of the neighborhood as well as the numerous playgrounds and parks. Not to mention the close proximity to the Back Bay and Chinatown make the South End an amazing community to live in.
The South End has gone through many booms and busts in its history. Today it is considered one of Boston’s nicest and one of the most diverse- socially and economically.
The South End is still home to a large gay community that has been given credit to what ultimately turned the community around.
Another community within a community if you will is the unofficial (to Boston that is) SOWA neighborhood. SOWA means 'South of Washington Street. This is a neighborhood where many artists live & work and their spirit is very prevalent there.
There are no MBTA trains that run through the south End. However, the neighborhood is close to subway stops in other neighborhoods where they can jump on the Green or Orange Line as well as the Commuter Rail. Like all other neighborhoods in Boston, the South End is also served by multiple Bus Ines.
The Year-to-date average condo and Single-Family sales price in the South End is $1.118m while the median price is $925k. Homes for Sale in the South End
Bay Village is Boston's Smallest official neighborhood with only about 1,400 people living there.
If you are looking for a home here, often times Bay Village Homes For Sale get lumped in with the Back Bay due to it being so Small.
Bay Village will have a familiar feeling to the homes on Beacon Hill as craftsmen that built those Beacon Hill Homes settled in this area and built these homes for themselves.
I have to say that other than housing, there isn't really a whole lot going on in Bay Village And that is actually what Most residents love!
Bay Village is within close walking distance to some of the best bars & restaurants the city has to offer.
Bay Village is more of a walking neighborhood as there are no MBTA stations that go through the neighborhood. The Green and Orange Line stations as well as the Commuter Rail are all within close walking distance… And speaking of walking, Bay village has a walking score of 98 and is ranked as the 4th Most walkable neighborhood in Boston. This says a lot as Boston is ranked as the 3rd most walkable city in the U. S.
Did I mention that Bay Village sales are often lumped in with the Back Bay? So take these Year to Date sales with a grain of salt. The Year-to-date average condo and Single-Family sales price in Bay Village is $1.133m while the median price is $745k. Homes for Sale in Bay Village
Chinatown / Leather District
The next neighborhood to the city of Boston is known as Chinatown-Leather District. But in real life these are 2 different neighborhoods in one while both have very distinct personalities.
Chinatown Is home to about 5k residents. It is the last surviving historic ethnic Chinese enclave in New England.
The 20th Century has been a time of change in Chinatown with a significant loss of the neighborhood to Tufts & the de-construction of the Central Artery. To many the Big Dig and the de-construction of the Central Artery saved the city.
Today in Chinatown there is worry about gentrification. The Asian population has dropped to less than 50% while many parts are becoming less cultural and more touristy.
The Leather District is a neighborhood that got its name due to their Dominance in the leather Industry. It is essentially a 3 street by 3 street neighborhood.
Today many of the buildings are still used by local companies for office space and store fronts with a lucky few that have claimed the top floors as lofted apartments.
The Chinatown-Leather neighborhood is served by the Orange Line with two stops. Go beyond the neighborhood is where you will find access to the Green, Red and Silver Line as well as the Commuter Rail.
Year to date the average condo sales price in the Chinatown-Leather District neighborhood is $891k with the median price being $866k. Homes for Sale in Chinatown | Homes for Sale in the Leather District
For having the distinction as the city's oldest Residential community, it is only natural that the North End has gone through a lot of changes during its time. Today, the North End is known for its Italian Population & Italian themed restaurants. You will quickly see that the neighborhood remains true to its roots with a quick stroll down Hanover Street.
By the way, have you ever had Prince Pasta? Yup, that’s from the North End!
The North End was saved if you will in the late 20th Century into the 21st. The Central Artery was strangling the neighborhood with traffic. People could not get from the North End to Downtown and vice versa. The North End was literally isolated because of all of this traffic. The Central Artery was demolished and the road was put under the city. This road is called the “Big Dig”. The Big Dig and the removal of the Central Artery is the reason for the neighborhoods vibrance today.
The proximity of the North End to Downtown & the Waterfront has made it a hot spot along residents. You will quickly notice that the people that call the North End home have a strong feeling of pride for the North End. This pride I think is the most abundant during the summer festivals, most specifically Saint Anthony Feast.
There is no MBTA subway access in the neighborhood, but just a couple steps outside the neighborhood are access to the Orange, Green and Blue Lines. Not to mention the commuter rail access at North Station.
Year to date, the average Condo sale in the North End is $687k with the median price being $637k. Homes for Sale in the North End
And now for the final neighborhood in Boston. It's last but it isn't the least! The West End is home to the Boston Bruins & the Celtics. This neighborhood has seen a LOT of development in the last couple years... Heck the whole city has seen a lot of development.
It’s safe to say that this development started in the 1950s with an urban Renewal Project. This project essentially razed the entire neighborhood and gave way to Massachusetts General Hospital & Government Center.
Today the neighborhood is Mixed-use commercial and residential. The central location & accessibility of downtown Boston is what keeps making people call this home.
The residential areas that have been rebuilt are primarily upscale high rises with condos and luxury rentals as the area around TD Bank Center has been completely transformed in the last couple of years.
The neighborhood is served by the Green and Orange Line as well as the commuter Rail at the North Station. The Red & Blue Lines have stops that are extremely close to the neighborhood as well.
Year to date the average Condo sales price in the West End is $576k with the median price at $555k. Homes for Sale in the West End
Boston is a world class city. In our city there is a community for everyone. In other videos we will be doing a deeper dive to talk about the different neighborhoods in the Boston these official Boston Neighborhood.
Yes, it is confusing. That’s why we are here to help!
If you are relocating to Boston and not familiar with the area and the different neighborhoods then I recommend you first analyze your wants & needs and then your ability.
Maybe you want a Single-Family home with 3 Bedrooms and are looking in a price range of $ 700k. Well if that is the case, then the Back Bay most likely won't be the right place for you.
The neighborhoods in Boston really in a way pick us based off of our needs and our abilities.
If you have any questions or want to talk about your specific wants or needs then you can always reach me at 617- 480-2600 or shoot me an email at [email protected].
Again, my name is Jeff Chubb and my team, the Chubb Homes Team is brokered by eXp Realty.