Is there such a thing as a hot neighborhood in a cold real estate climate? When it comes to Boston’s lush, tree-lined streets and luxury condos of Back Bay, the market is awash with activity. Even first-time buyers want in and are willing to sacrifice space for downtown living.

“The Back Bay is one of the nicest urban neighborhoods in the country. It has exceptional architecture and grandness, which people are willing to pay top dollar for,” says Otis & Ahern realtor John Corcoran. “Historically, the closer you are to the Public Garden, the more valuable [the pro-perty]. We’re seeing prices rising on the other side of Mass. Ave. too. The further toward Kenmore Square, the better deal you will get,” he adds.

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it in 2012: South Boston is booming!

“We have been talking about it for years, but they’re finally getting it right,” says Nick Hanneman of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, who lives in South Boston. “Before, it was all cheap flips of triple-deckers. Now [there’s] new construction with good design.”

 

Hanneman lives on West Second, where the recession halted construction, leaving newer buildings sitting among empty lots and buildings with broken windows and overgrown weeds.

“It was a real eyesore. Over the past year, almost every empty lot and abandoned building has been either torn down or renovated. It’s tons of obnoxious construction, but property values are rising,” he says.

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