Boston metro area median price: $367,700.
"Condos, condos, condos" is what you'll find at that price in the city, says John Ranco, Greater Boston region vice president for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
In neighborhoods like the Back Bay, that money would buy a 300- to 350-square-foot studio, he says. In the South End, "you're likely to get a more remodeled studio or one-bedroom -- definitely without parking. Right now, the inventory in the whole city is extremely low."
Asking price: $369,900.
A 5-year-old contemporary condo in Quincy, Mass.
Metro median price: $367,700 (up 0.3 percent from one year earlier).*
- 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.
- 2,100 square feet.
- 1-car garage; off-street parking.
- Hardwood floors with espresso finish.
- Kitchen with granite counters and breakfast bar.
- Surround sound in living room.
Listed by: Keller Williams Realty (Braintree).
Buyers seeking cheaper options in the suburbs won't find them close by, says Bill Dermody, president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.
"In the suburbs, the median price range is a lot higher," he says. The average in places like Needham and Newton is about $800,000, he says.
Drive 20 to 30 miles outside the city and you "could get a nice Cape (Cod) home with three bedrooms on a 10,000-square-foot lot," Dermody says. Likely, it will have been built anywhere from the mid-1940s to 1970s and have about 1,500 square feet or less, he adds.
*Source: National Association of Realtors, fall 2011.